A New Law Allowing High School Students To Take Mental Health Days Is A-Plus For Progress

Because mental health is just as important as physical health.

I can struggle through the flu at work but, if I’m having a day where my emotions are out of whack, works is the last place I want to be. It’s hard to focus on anything when your head and heart are screaming at you to give them some love. 

We’ve all been there – we’ve all had days where our mental health has taken a dip (for whatever reason) and feel like we need to close the blinds, get in bed and shut out the world for a little bit. 

As an adult who can make their own adult decisions, taking a mental health day is an easy enough thing to do. You don’t need to explain yourself. But as a high school student, you’re held much more accountable. Every day off needs to be backed up with a medical certificate and a parent signature in your school diary. 

Basically, if you can’t prove you’re sick you’re in big trouble for ditching school. So mental health days are a no go. 

Until now. 

A new law has just passed in Oregon, in the USA, which allows students to take five mental health days every three months. If the students miss a test, so be it. They will be granted permission to make them up another day. 

Not only does this take away any stress or guilt student may be feeling for taking non-sick sick days off school, but it’s an important step in the right direction. 

Suicide rates are at an all time high and, according to the World Health Organisation, mental health issues will be the leading cause of death among young people by 2020. The new law works to combat this growing crises by providing struggling students with an ‘out’ if they’re having a rough time. And, let’s be real, high school can be a pretty rough place. 

Daria keeping it real. Source: Giphy

The law also helps breakdown the stigma around mental health – looking after yourself is a good thing to do. 

“I took on this cause for a personal reason first off because so many of my close friends in high school struggled with depression, and there were times when I saw them at school when they really shouldn’t have been there, would have been much better for them to take a day off,” Hailey Hardcastle, a recent high school graduate and one of the activists who helped lobby for the new law, told TODAY.

The law is the first of its kind in the United States. It highlights that mental health is just as important as physical health and should be treated as such. 

A+ for progress. 

A++ if Australia can also make this a thing. 

If you or someone you love struggles with mental health, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636.

Old Men Fighting Over Push-Ups Is Where Politics Is At, So Let Women Take Over And Actually Get Work Done

It's about time.

I’m not one for politics, I’ll admit that openly. But even I can tell that there are way too many old white dudes in charge. 

I see it every time I watch the news: another white dude giving another address on another stupid policy. 

Julia Gillard was the first female Australian Prime Minister and we haven’t seen the likes of her since 2013. 

Iconic. Source: Giphy

In 2019, 127 (106D, 21R) women hold seats in the United States Congress, comprising 23.7% of the 535 members. Impressive. Until I remember that the position of top dog is still held by a man who is the same age as my grandfather. 

Hilary Clinton came close to getting the presidency but not close enough. Her candidacy, while inspiring, brought no long-term change. Unless you count empowering a bunch of women and inspiring us all to buy a pantsuit as long-term change. 

I wish we could. Source: Giphy

The country running has been left to, you guessed it, the elderly white dudes. But not just any elderly white dudes – the kind whose egos far outweigh any legitimate political concern or constructive idea they have. Male politicians like President Donald Trump and ex-Vice President Joe Biden are too busy comparing their manhood. 

Just this week, Joe publicly challenged Trump to do push-ups on stage. 

 “I’d say, ‘C’mon Donald, c’mon man. How many push-ups do you want to do here, pal?’” Biden said. “I mean, jokingly. . . . C’mon, run with me, man.”

The politician shared his master scheme to prove his legitimacy during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in which he was pressed on whether he is tough enough to stand up to Trump given his sub-par performance in a recent Democratic debate.

This isn’t the first time that Joe has spoken about getting physical with Trump. 

Last year, while campaigning for congressional candidates, Joe talked about fighting the president because of the disrespectful way he has talked about women.

“If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him,” Biden told a crowd at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., in March 2018.

I should probably note here that Joe Biden is only three years Donald Trumps senior: a old 76 years old to Trump’s young 73. 

I should also highlight that the two politician’s ability to workout together or fight one another is in no way a measure of their leadership skills. I feel like that goes without say. And yet…

For me, the school boy stupidity of Biden and Trump conclusively proves that it’s time for women to take over. Can we be petty? Sure. But we’ll also get the job done. 

Research shows that women are more productive than men. 10 per cent more, to be exact. 

As a female myself, I can confirm this. Also, multitasking is a skill every female is born with which only gives us more of an edge. Michelle Obama’s biceps are proof – she had time to make herself feel good, look good, and inspire an entire nation. 

Sure, Michelle wasn’t technically a politician. But she was still a powerful woman at the forefront of society, which is what we need more of. Maybe America doesn’t want to elect Hilary Clinton, and maybe Australian won’t see the likes of Julia Gillard for another 50 years, but that does’t mean they shouldn’t be running the show. 

They definitely should be. 

We Shouldn’t Be Surprised Kit Harington Has Checked Into A Wellness Retreat

We know nothing.

When I heard the news Kit Harington had checked himself into a wellness retreat, I was surprised.

“That doesn’t seem like Kit” I thought, because I definitely know him personally. Also because, in my mind, wellness retreats are only for celebrities with serious mental health or addiction problems.

Both of these things are very far from the truth.

I wouldn’t know what does and doesn’t “seem like Kit” because I don’t know him at all.

And wellness retreats are definitely not just for completely broken celebs who’ve fallen from grace: they’re for any and all individuals who want to do some self-care. Which is exactly what Kit has done and is completely relatable.

“Kit has decided to utilise this break in his schedule as an opportunity to spend some time at a wellness retreat to work on some personal issues,” read a statement released by his representative.

It follows an earlier report in the NY Post that claimed that Kit had been working on methods to deal with “stress and negative emotions”, including mindful meditation and cognitive behavioural therapy

I understand these decisions. I respect them. Actually, I advocate for them; our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

The voice in our head is with us every single second of every single day whether we like it or not. The voice in MY head isn’t always kind, which means some days are harder than others.

So, Kit checking himself into a wellness retreat isn’t shocking, it’s not even a little bit surprising – it’s totally normal.

It especially makes sense when we remember that Game of Thrones just ended- a show which wasn’t just Kit’s job but his entire life for ten years. Kit said goodbye to a familiar routine, a family of cast members and a part of him in Jon snow all at once, which is a lot to take.

Kit’s co-stars Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams have both been open about their struggles with mental health while filming Thrones. Being part of something so big comes with very high highs but also crushing lows.

“Having your adolescence being displayed in public, that’s something I really wish hadn’t happened,” Sophie said in an interview with The Sunday Times.

“Being in the age of social media when that’s happening, I think I would be a much saner person if I hadn’t been documented from 13 – your most awkward, uncomfortable, unsure-of-yourself years.”

Whether you’re a Sophie Turner, Kit Harington or *insert your name here* of the world, a little bit of self care goes a long way.


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