HomeOpinionsCombating the stigma of taking mental health days

Combating the stigma of taking mental health days

headshot of marie salazar
Courtesy image by Selena Salazar

Around 1,100 college students commit suicide each year due to ongoing stress within their lives, according to a 2010 report written by National Center for Biotechnology Information.  As the school year slowly progresses and the workload broadens, college students must learn to juggle the stress of at-home life while classes continue to become more difficult. This poses the question of the true benefits of taking a mental health day. 

Mental health is often seen as a taboo discussion among college students; however, the need for this conversation has become more prominent. 

Don Neal, therapist with Mosaic Counseling Center of East Texas, discusses the importance of taking a mental health day.

“The mental health day is just the time to really spend on yourself to make sure that you’re getting to do the things that help you be energized,” Neal said. “Taking a mental health day just allows a student to just reconnect with themselves to kind of get back to who they are.” 

According to an article written by  gundersonhealth.org, “everyone carries stress and it can be especially difficult to manage when you begin feeling overwhelmed. A break to reset may be needed.”

Student holding a piece of paper with a smile on it
Image by Marie Salazar

Mental health days are solely taken to help relax and rejuvenate the mind. Sometimes school or work life can become so overwhelming that individuals become extremely mentally exhausted. This immediately causes a lack of drive to finish or complete things, which unfortunately creates a vicious cycle. 

Senior at the University of Texas at Tyler Lillie VanSickle discusses why she thinks it’s important to take a mental health day.

“Taking a mental health day is something that I’ve found to be really good for me. I can catch up on much-needed sleep, go do something that makes me happy, or just relax,” VanSickle said. “A mental health day isn’t a setback, but more of a reset. It allows me to step back and enjoy my life, but also makes me motivated to go back and study what I’m passionate about.”

Mental health is one of the many factors that plays a significant role in college students’ scholarly performance; therefore, it should not be taken lightly. 

“For me, mental health days basically consist of giving myself permission not to worry about things. As someone who works full time and does school full time, giving myself days where I don’t have to worry about things is absolutely necessary. They help me take a break and get things off my mind,” TJC Freshman Amasa Lynn Hartong said. 

Nevertheless, the stress of college life can become overwhelming. Often times leading to depression and thoughts of suicide. In a battle against the world, know you are not alone.

If you are having thoughts of suicide or your pain is becoming too hard to handle and you feel that this feeling is permanent, contact the National Suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Remember nothing is permanent and help is available today.

Most Popular