CappelTeacherMentalHealthDaysSPRINGFIELD – Teachers will now be able to take excused mental health absences thanks to a new law that was led by State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel.

“As society continues to increase the importance of addressing mental health as part of health care, we must ensure that our teachers have the ability to address issues they are dealing with,” said Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood). “It’s vital that we give them the time they need to unplug and focus on their mental well-being.”

Under the new law, previously Senate Bill 3914, the school board of each school district will be required to include mental health as part of their current negotiated sick days for full-time employees of the district.

This new law allows teachers to use two of their days per school year as mental health days, and says if a teacher needs three or more mental health days, the school district will require a note from a mental health professional.

“It’s important for teachers to be able to take time off when they’re sick physically and mentally,” said Loughran Cappel. “This new law removes the stigma and allows teachers to prioritize their mental health.”

The legislation was signed by the governor on Friday and takes effect immediately.