Taking care of your mental health is super-important. And sometimes that means taking time off from work to focus on feeling better. Calling in sick to attend to your mental health should be just as common as resting to recover from a cold or the flu.
Feeling supported to take off workdays to focus on your mental health and wellbeing is what should happen. Yet the reality can be far from…
From a boss telling me to contact a colleague on sick leave with depression because “she is off home on the couch with nothing else to do” in a social care environment…
To a boss encouraging staff to forget about Contract Packaging and access counselling in work time because “you are really struggling so go and get some help”
People’s relationship with mental health appears like algorithms: You either get it, or you don’t at all.
It’s not good enough. It’s been long enough. We have suffered enough!
No man or woman should have to worry about having a day off when they ‘can’t get off the toilet’.
No man or woman should have to worry about having a day off work when they ‘can’t get out of bed’.
And when you go and ask for counselling, hypnotherapy or acupuncture you should receive the same discrete empathy as when you go and ask for that Dioralyte.
But how to change mindsets?
What can we do?
Well: Talk About It. Shout About It. Write About It. At the very least… Think About it.
Would a day off to go for a swim, read a book and day dream until you doze off to sleep be as preventative to ‘burn out’ as paracetamol and a hot water bottle to ‘colds and flu’?
Would six sessions with a counsellor about the agony off a loss be as effective, as a course of physiotherapy to fix a twisted back?
Would you let your Mental Health have a Day Off?