In schools across Canada, students are chronically absent from school because of mental health disabilities. This is not only an issue of mental health rights, disability rights, education rights, or human rights. It’s a matter of life and death. When we do not provide needs-based educational accommodations, supports, and services, suicide risk factors increase.
For too long, the silence on school phobia and chronic absenteeism has been deafening. Whether it’s the decisions that happen at schools, school boards, provincially, territorially, or federally, by school support professionals or administrators, healthcare or mental health professionals, human rights tribunals or the Supreme Court of Canada, students with mental health disabilities, including school phobia, have a right to a publicly funded education that meets their disability and education needs.