By: Shawne Poplar, MA LPC Licensed Professional Counselor
Mental Health Days are becoming a popular way to reset and recharge in times of stress. Mental Health Days are considered days when one chooses to miss school or work to focus on mental wellness or to address mental health symptoms. Students experiencing mental health struggles are encouraged to be near adults in case of a mental health emergency. Working parents often are unable to rearrange work schedules and supervise as students stay home.
For this reason, parents may need alternatives to providing mental health days.
Make sure to clear the weekend calendar
Weekends can often be overbooked. Allow your student to make the most of the weekends, by prioritizing rest and limiting how many activities are scheduled.
Take inventory of major stressors
Ask your student to share their top stressors. Have your student express what would be different if these stressors were removed. Brainstorm together ways to remove one of the identified stressors.
Contact your student’s school counselor for support
The school counselor can share coping skills used by other students with similar circumstances. School counselors can also offer a quiet place to work such as an office or library. If your student’s mental health is frequently interfering with their academic performance or social interactions, the school counselor can discuss the benefits of 504 Plan accommodations.
Schedule an appointment with a therapist
A psychotherapist can address any ongoing mental health concerns and teach your student coping skills to manage feelings of anxiety, stress, and fatigue.