Yes, many employers are actually okay with you taking a mental health day. Many people are less than forthcoming when they take time off to recover from an anxiety attack or go to a therapist.
More companies are trying to destigmatize mental illness and encourage their employees to take their mental health days for what they were originally intended for. American Express has on-site mental-health professionals and free counseling. Prudential Financial gives their employees flexible schedules and access to mental-health professionals.
Depending on your company’s policies, a mental-health day can qualify as a sick day or as personal time off.
Major depressive disorder alone cost companies over $78 billion in lost productivity in 2010 because of employees showing up to work while struggling with illness.
In June, Madalyn Parker, a web developer in Ann Arbor, Michigan, emailed her boss that she needed a couple of days off for her mental health.
The Chief Executive wrote back and said:
“Every time you (send emails like this), I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health. You are an example to us all.”
Parker tweeted a screenshot of her exchange and said:
“When the CEO responds to your out of the office email about taking sick leave for mental health and reaffirms your decision.”
The tweet went viral with over 50,000 retweets. One in five adults in the United States suffers from some kind of mental disorder. We need to be able to be more open with our struggling, or else the stigma will never go away.
Featured image via Twitter.