Mental health related problems, such as stress and anxiety, are on the rise. 

"Mental health issues are something that strike one in five people," said Eve Shippens, a mother and teacher at East High School in Buffalo. 

According to mental health experts, this is being found particularly with children. 

Shippens, being a mom and a teacher, sees it firsthand.  

"It does happen to our kids, and certainly our kids in Buffalo, who have a lot of trauma they bring into school being a high poverty district,” she explained. 

These growing numbers are part of the push for the legislation.

New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman recently introduced a bill that would allow all New York students to miss school for "mental or behavioral health.”

Similar bills were passed in Oregon, Utah and Minnesota. 

Shippens applauds this potential change.

"We need to respect mental health the same way we respect physical health," she said. 

Under the current Buffalo Public School District attendance policy, excused absences for students include illness, death in the family and religious reasons. 

"I think it’s something that should be considered. I don't think it’s too out of line, but obviously with limitations," said Buffalo Board of Education Member at-Large Larry Scott. 

Also a school psychologist by practice, Scott adds the district would have to have conversations on how "mental health days" would work, as well as to make sure students aren't abusing those days or avoiding class.

"So if it becomes more than one or two days, maybe you're exasperating a problem where all of a sudden they are avoiding school completely and they aren't accessing help that could be provided in a school environment with adults and professionals," Scott explained.  

If passed, Sen. Hoylman hopes the bill will start for the 2020-21 school year.