Governor Beshear Signs Bill Potentially Allowing Ky. Students Access to Mental Health Leave Days

KENTUCKY (WFIE) – With the signing of House Bill 44, Kentucky students could have access to mental health-related days off.

The bill was signed into law on Wednesday.

The new law says it will allow public schools to grant children excused absences for reasons involving their mental health or behavior.

Laura Day, a River Valley Behavioral Health Certified Psychological Associate, told 14 News that mental health days like this will be important for children’s overall health and could even be used specifically for treatment appointments. .

Day said she hopes this will allow children to be more open to seeking help, as unjustified absences can discourage children.

“[Unexcused absences] can be counted against their progress, and you know with parents, it keeps them from getting treatment when they need it,” she explained.

Day said it’s also important for parents and adults in the community to understand that kids need it, even if you think that’s not the case at that age.

“Yeah, you did,” Day said. “I would say so. Deep down everyone knows it. Everyone needs time for mental health.

14 News has reached out to several schools in Kentucky, but with the bill signing into law so recently, they haven’t had time to create an implementation plan these days.

We will keep you updated as schools adjust their attendance policies in the coming months.

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