Bill would give Illinois teachers more time off for mental health care

QUINCY (WGEM) – A bill that has passed both chambers of the Illinois legislature would give teachers and other school employees more time off to take care of their mental health.

If signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker, HB3914 would give all full-time school employees five fully paid mental health days every school year.

QPS personnel director Lisa Otten said anything that can be done to support teachers mental health is worth doing.

She said right now teachers can use sick days as mental health days. She said the district also offers teachers three free counseling sessions through their insurance plans.

Otten said they’re noticing more teachers taking advantage of those services.

“More of our staff members are using this service, probably because of the mental health needs right now with post-COVID,” she said. “Our families and staff have been through a lot so we are noticing an uptick in of the staff that are using the free counseling services.”

Teacher Brandi Many said when COVID-19 hit, it was a tough adjustment switching to online classes, and then to hybrid classes.

She said this bill is a great opportunity to give teachers relief.

“It would be an amazing benefit for staff that are already stressed out coming off of COVID and the last couple of years and the immense amount of changes that has taken place in schools at that time,” Many said.

Many said the five days would go a long way for staff who need it and it would be helpful for those who are stressed out.

Copyright 2022 WGEM. All rights reserved.


April 13, 2022 at 07:54AM

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