OPINION: Students desire mental health days

CN/Ivana Amaral

By Carina Ortiz (J-101 Staff Writer)

In the midst of the chaos that comes with being a college student, it’s easy to understand why so many become overwhelmed.

Imagine being able to skip class if you need to.

Imagine being able to take a day off for the sake of your mental health and well-being. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

Because most of us are busy working a part-time job, studying our nights away and still trying to maintain somewhat of a social life, we tend to neglect ourselves by failing to take any time to reflect on our mental health. Sadly, mental health can still be considered taboo and never spoken about, or even mentioned by these individuals.

Everybody is running on some sort of schedule and it’s difficult to slow down or just breathe.

It is not about the workload of pursuing a college career or the pressure to finish as fast as possible,  it is instead far deeper than this.

Because our mental health is not as visible as our physical health, it tends to be overlooked.

If someone does not have a cast over their arm, there would be no way to know that it is broken.

People can argue the fact that schools are not responsible for a student’s mental state. Although it is true, this is also further supports the idea that somebody’s mental health is not as important as their physical health. However, the statistics are alarming.

According to CBS News, one in five college students are stressed so much that they consider suicide.

Digging deeper, CBS News reports that “among more than 67,000 students surveyed, over 20 percent said they experienced stressful events in the last year that were strongly associated with mental health problems, including harming themselves and suicidal thoughts or attempts.”

Students are often pushed to a level of stress that forces them to put their well-being aside in order to progress in their college careers.

Stephanie Sical, a student at East Los Angeles College said, “we should be able to have at least two or three days to take a mental break. We should at least give it a try and see if this improves students’ energy and focus.” A day off can be more beneficial than we think.

In a poll conducted via Twitter and Instagram, I found that 60 out of 70 students agree that mental health days should be available.

Some days seem almost impossible to get out of bed because of the exhaustion.

This is the struggle that reveals why students should be able to put aside responsibilities and focus on themselves for at least one day. So why don’t they just miss class?

Students are often graded on attendance, and because of this, skipping class reflects on their overall percentage. Therefore, they show up.

If taking a day to do nothing and not worry about missing anything in class is going to help break the stigma, then the option should be available.

One day off will not hurt anyone.

Endless hours of no sleep, and keeping the stress bottled up, will.

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