New Hampshire Bill Looking To Give Students Mental Health Days

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CONCORD, N.H. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Students in the Granite State could be able to take days off of school for their mental health if a new bill passes at the State House.

The bill changes language to have mental and behavioral health as valid excuses for an excused absence from school. It also allows students taking mental health days the opportunity to make up any work they missed while absent and makes it so mental health-related absences will not affect students' grades or attendance records.

The legislation went before New Hampshire's State House Education Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 7. The Associated Press reports Martha Dickey, the mother of a student who died by suicide in 2017, testified before the committee in support of the bill. She had previously lobbied for two other mental health-related bills at the New Hampshire State House, both of which passed.

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Twelve states in the U.S., including Maine and Connecticut, have passed similar bills allowing students to take days off from school for their mental health. Former State Rep.Tami Gouveia filed a similar bill at the Massachusetts State House on behalf of a constituent in 2022, but the bill was never brought forward for a vote.

The New Hampshire bill remains in committee.

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