In 2017, suicide reached a record high in Oregon state, becoming the second leading cause of death for 15-24-year-olds and third leading cause of death for 5-14-year-olds according to the Oregon Health Authority. A group of high schoolers gathered at a leadership camp decided something had to be done and came up with the idea of putting mental health on equal footing with physical health in schools. To do this, they worked with lobbyists and health professionals to get their idea in front of lawmakers, and Gov. Kate Brown signed the legislation into law in June of 2019. This new legislation allows days taken off for mental health or behavioral health to be counted as excused absences for school attendance purposes. Hailey Hardcastle, one of the student advocates, says "The reality is, kids are already skipping school for mental health reasons. They're just [using] tricks to make it look like you're sick. They say they have a fever, a headache or something like that to make their parents call them out of school for physical health when they're struggling mentally." Students often have to hide the real reason they need a day off from school because students are usually unable to make up tests or other work if the absence is unexcused. This new law will hopefully help students be more open about their mental health with their parents, teachers, and school officials. Read more in CNN’s article, “A new Oregon law will let students take 'mental health days'.