Certain workplace cultures like working long hours, and spending a lot of time in a sedentary position can take a toll on an individual’s body. More than just its impact on the body, some habits like inadequate sleep, lack of an exercise routine, isolation from friends or family, and stress may also start to take its toll on an individual’s mental health. A lot of workers are suffering from a rapidly deteriorating health condition. This can affect well being and impede productivity. However, not all mental health issues are connected to workplace culture. External factors may affect a person’s mental health too. It is important to check-in with yourself and practice self-care to maintain good mental health.
If you feel overly stressed and burnt out mentally, you can take some time off work to get yourself together. Ultimately, the decision to take a leave of absence for your mental health is a personal one. However, you need to work with a personal physician or therapist and the HR of your company to process your leave of absence. Taking time away from work to take care of your mental health is a completely normal decision. You can speak to your therapist to get an initial assessment. Sometimes, all you are facing is a work burnout and not a medical condition.
When a work burnout is a problem, you may be able to find ways to fix it without resorting to a leave. For instance, you can speak to your boss and negotiate a reduced workload, a change in a department, or more convenient work hours. However, there are instances that the problem goes beyond a simple burnout. An assessment by your physician will help clarify if you are having an underlying mental health condition like mood disorder, depression, or anxiety disorder. When this is the case, negotiating for leave to seek treatment is a good idea.
There is a wide range of work leave options available for you. What you get depends largely on where you live and work as this rule tends to vary from place to place. If you ever feel you need to take the time off for your mental health after due consultation with a physician, you should calmly approach your manager or the HR department of your company. You only have to share minimal information about your diagnosis and you should be given sick leave.
If your condition requires you to apply for a long term disability leave, then you will need detailed information and documentation from your doctor for your firm’s disability insurance provider. The information provided will be evaluated and the firm will make recommendations to your company about your long-term leave application. You must be familiar with your rights as an employee and the policies of your company on issues like this. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is illegal for your employer to discriminate against you because of your mental health issues. Make sure to advocate for yourself and your needs. You matter!