Feb 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Some schools give mental health days as young Americans' suicide rate rises

Photo: Adam Augustus Crowley/Getty Images

States and school districts around the country are passing legislation to allow students to take mental health days as young people struggle with depression and anxiety, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The changes come as the suicide rate among young people continues to rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported suicide was the second leading cause of death among people ages 10-24 in 2017.

The state of play: There are currently legislative proposals in California, New York and Florida to provide students mental health dates, per the Post.

  • Minnesota was the first state to pass a bill in 2009 saying excused absences may be for mental-health reasons.
  • Oregon and Utah also already allow students to take days off for mental health reasons.
  • The Montgomery County school district in Virginia recently announced it will allow mental health be used for excused absences.

Go deeper: Generation Z's suicide epidemic

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free and confidential support for anyone in distress, in addition to prevention and crisis resources. Also available for online chat.

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Employers struggle to handle mental illness

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Reported mental illnesses are more common among young people than other generations, and employers are struggling to figure out how to accommodate their young employees' mental health issues, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Between the lines: These young workers grew up receiving accommodations in school that helped them manage their mental health, but the laws — and pressures — around employment are different.

Go deeperArrowFeb 13, 2020 - Health

Scoop: Snapchat's new wellness push

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Snapchat is launching a new set of tools and custom content around mental health and wellness, sources tell Axios. One tool includes a search function that surfaces health and wellness resources on topics including depression, suicide and anxiety.

Why it matters: It's the first product launch around what will be a bigger health and wellness push from Snapchat that will be rolled out in the next few months.

U.S. schools prepare for coronavirus spread

Vice President Pence and HHS Secretary Alex Azar (left) tour virus operations center yesterday. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

Schools across the U.S. are canceling trips abroad, preparing online lessons and even rethinking "perfect attendance" awards as they brace for the possibility that the coronavirus spreads to their communities, AP's Collin Binkley reports.

Why it matters: If schools are forced to close for long stretches, it could have a heavy impact on students who rely on school meals and for parents who use their schools' child care programs.

Go deeperArrowFeb 28, 2020 - Health