OREGON: Keeping Kids’ Mental Health in Mind

November 08, 2019

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
Speaker:  Oregon

Kaiser Permanente

A new law allows Oregon schoolchildren to take time off for their mental health. Effective in July of this year, the law allows students to take five mental health days in a three-month period. That is the same number of excused absences allowed for illness and injury. Proponents of the measure say that tracking mental health absences will help schools better evaluate and address student well-being. It can also provide schools and families with an opportunity to open up conversations about mental health, said Han-Chun Liang, child and adolescent psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente. “I’m hoping this will encourage parents to feel comfortable talking with their kids about stressors, coping skills, and monitoring how they’re feeling emotionally,” he said.

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