Washington also compared the one day off to the paid sick leave teachers get.
He believes that allowing students to have the same privileges would level the playing field and benefit both parties.
While teachers are yet to weigh in on the bill, Washington said he hopes he will have their support given that he chairs the education subcommittee in the House.
This is far from a new concept in Maryland; the Montgomery County school board flirted with the idea of giving students mental health days in September — but never verified the measure.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools released the results of a year long study on student mental health in October that included ideas such as mental health first aid, workshops on raising children in a trauma-sensitive way and avoiding overscheduling students.
Dr. Sharon Hoover, professor of child and adolescent psychiatry and co-director of the National Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said she thinks it will help destigmatize depression among students.
While there are many ways to do that, statewide-supported change could be a solution, Hoover said.
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