In 2017, Ann Madalyn Parker’s email confirming to her colleagues that she was taking sick leave for mental health went viral. And the company’s CEO responded by lauding her bravery for cutting through the stigma of mental health. Now, people are embracing the idea of taking care of mental health as much as they do physical health in the workplace.
Mental Health is as Important as Physical Health
Say you wake up with a cold or flu. If this is the case, you’re likely to stay home and rest- and people would understand and sympathize with you. Your co-workers may encourage you to even take more time off if you so need.
This respect should also be reciprocated to mental health. Most of the time, people disregard mental health issues. They brush them off as issues the “sufferer” could quickly get over. Do not pay attention to any such comments. Mental health is part of your overall health, and you should proactively address it if you are to live and perform at your best.
When Should I Take a Mental Health Day?
For you to perform at your optimum, you need to be mentally healthy. What issues are you grappling with, which affects your ability to deliver at work? Answering this question will help a psychologist to advise you better on when to take the break.
Some people may, due to their mental problems like depression, endanger their lives and the lives of others around them. If the nature of the illness is such that it affects your cognitive abilities with possibilities of creating safety concerns, you may need more than one mental health day. Some issues are not that dire – like stress, difficulty in managing emotions and regulating your thoughts, etc. – are not that dire, and a day or two away from the office may work.
Here are some instances which may require a mental health break;
When that issue you want to be sorted out is acting as a distraction – If that pressing issue won’t let you be productive, then you need to take a break and address it first. If you’re behind on your bills, take a day off and sort them out and you’ll reduce your anxiety and feel like your back in control.
- When you’ve been neglecting yourself – You are your biggest asset. Without you, you wouldn’t be working at that job. So take some alone time to practice some self-care. When you take care of yourself, you will improve your productivity.
- Find your expert care – If you feel like you need someone to assist you in tackling your issues, schedule an appointment with an online psychologist. Take that one day off, and you’ll be sure of future productive days.
Why Should Leaders Care For Their Employees Mental Health?
Employers have some duties to their employers. Though this may not be in agreement between the two, it is laudable for an employer to support their employee’s mental health the same way Madalyn Parker’s employer did. Do you, as an employer, care about your employee’s mental health? Would you have reacted the same way if Madlyn Parker was working for you?
Here are some reasons why you probably should care about your employee’s mental health. For one, mental illness and substance abuse cost employers more than $100 billion annually. Reduced productivity, absenteeism, and health care costs will significantly eat into your profits. But you can avoid all these by understanding and helping your employees to overcome their issues by allowing them time to recoup. Please do not lose your best worker when all you need to do is understand, and help them cope by allowing them deserved breaks.
Mental health is essential. It is a continuum, and we all have room for improvement. Whether you’re suffering from mental health issues or not, you need to take a mental health day off every once in a while. This helps you build your mental strength and, in turn, have improved mental health.