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New law allows students to take ‘mental health days’

Under the first law of its kind in the United States, Oregon students will be allowed to take mental health or behavioral health days as an excused school absence. The bill, signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown last month, is meant to help change the stigma surrounding mental health, in part due to skyrocketing suicide rates. As one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S., depression affects more than 16 million Americans and is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. Between 1999 and 2016, suicide increased by 28% across most American demographics, with some states seeing an increase of more than 30%. Oregon has one of the highest suicide rates in America — it’s the state’s second leading cause of death among those ages 10 to 34. According to the state health authority, nearly 17% of eighth-graders reported contemplating taking their lives over the past year.  Read more.....

 

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