Today’s submission is about using sick-leave for mental health days. The idea for this post is based off of the fact that I am currently doing just this. Many of us work at jobs where we accrue hours of sick leave that most of us don’t touch because we aren’t “sick”. My mother works as a teacher and at one point had hours upon hours of unused sick leave that she wouldn’t carve into because she “didn’t want to lie and say she was sick because then it would backfire and she would actually get sick”. But it isn’t about lying. It is about taking time for yourself to address your needs; the time that you worked just as hard for as you did for the personal or vacation leave that you may have. There are times where you need to take a breather that a typical weekend cannot even start to address; how many of ya’ll can go to your primary care physician on a Saturday or Sunday? Or what about dealing the with business of life that is hard to address when you are at work from 9:00am-5:00pm when many companies also keep the same hours? It is becoming more the norm of people using their sick leave for their overall mental wellness as they would for their physical wellness. Check out this link about a web developer who sent an email to her boss stating that she needed to take leave to address her mental health and the response that she received: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/12/health/mental-health-response-from-company-ceo-trnd/index.html
Many companies require that if your sick-leave goes beyond three days; however, you may have to produce documentation from your health care practitioner stating the reason for your leave and your capacity to return. Ensure that you check your company’s rules with taking sick-leave and how much notice that you need to give prior to taking it. Most places; however, do not require that you disclose the reason for your sick-leave request as long as you comply with the timeframe for calling out. Personally, I may take a day a month or every other month when I feel that things are getting too overwhelming for me or when I need to have time to schedule and/or attend urgent care doctor’s appointments. Like I said before, check with your company’s rules and leave behind the fear of not using your sick-leave; because in most places, if you don’t use it, you lose it. And who enjoys giving up time that they worked so hard to acquire? I know I don’t!