Mental Health Days are a Legitimate Use of Sick Leave

policy Aug 22, 2021

By: Shanna B. Tiayon, PhD

 

This might be a controversial statement but I wholeheartedly believe that mental health days are a legitimate use of employee sick leave.

To be clear a mental health day is not related to leave taken due to serious mental health disorders. Instead, it’s a day taken off from work for the sole purpose of mentally and physically recovering from work related stressors. Thinking of sick leave as only for physical illness or serious mental health disorders misses the original intention of introducing sick leave into employee benefits programs – to facilitate the wellbeing of employees.

Perhaps my perspective on mental health days is skewed, because growing up the concept was introduced to me at a very young age. Starting when I was in elementary school my mother would periodically let me stay home to “play hooky” from school. We called those days mental health days. On those days I spent my time watching T.V., playing games and...

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