Previously, I’ve brought attention to a few suicide articles in connection to eczema (http://www.itchinsince87.com/skin-info/what-you-should-know-about-eczema-mental-health, http://www.itchinsince87.com/uncategorized/man-23-took-life-battle-eczema). One concern I’ve raised was the lack of discussion around mental health within the eczema community. Dealing with a chronic condition day in and day out can be very detrimental.
At one time, I recalled listening to parents pour their hearts out about how their kids can’t live normal lives due to eczema. One mother who sat next to me was in hysterics because she’d felt like a failure after her son dropped out of football due to his flare-ups. Another parent was furious because her high-achieving son had to be warned if he missed any more school days he would be cut from his AP classes as they did not tolerate any absences. Little did they know his absences weren’t due to playing hooky, but because of his severe eczema.
A couple of months ago I remember hearing some rumblings about schools incorporating ‘mental health days.’ The idea behind this is that students can have a mental health day in the same way that they’re given sick days. This concept was lobbied by students to help take the stigma off of mental and physical health, but also because it’s most certainly needed.
Oregon became a pioneering state, as it became one of the first to pass this law followed by Utah, and now New York.
“We need to recognize suicide and self-harm among young New Yorkers as the major public health crisis that it is, demolish the stigma around mental health care, and do everything within our power to help kids who are struggling seek treatment,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, the bill’s sponsor.
Hopefully, this law spreads to other states as the suicide rates between 10 to 18-year-olds is the second leading cause of death.