Mental health sick leave is a right workers have when their mental health suffers due to disorders such as depression and need to temporarily halt their work activity to follow their treatment properly and recover from it.
It is important to keep in mind that depression is a mental health disorder that can manifest itself in different ways. When it is very intense, it should be considered a serious health problem and can involve a significant degree of incapacity for the person who suffers from it.
Usually, this mood disorder tends to be confused with a feeling of intense sadness in which the person is plunged into permanent melancholy. In reality, in addition to this melancholic state, depression must be related to a state of apathy, unwillingness, hopelessness, difficulty to enjoy and get involved in different aspects of life, and emotional disconnection towards their surroundings.
The benefits of mental health sick leave
As we stated above, a person suffering from depression is not simply someone who is very sad, but someone who is so “off” that they progressively weaken their responsibility and attachment to life and people.
This is why it is important to properly diagnose depression, to apply the necessary psychological and, if necessary, psychiatric treatment, and to provide the person with the necessary support to recover as soon as possible.
This requires time, and it is in this context where the concept of mental health sick leave is introduced. We must bear in mind that, at a certain point, the person suffering from depression is neither psychologically nor physically able to perform the tasks assigned to them by their job properly, and needs to take a break to try to recover without losing their job.
At a bureaucratic level, it is established that the employee may need mental health sick leave due to two different reasons.
On the one hand, there are personal reasons, i.e., those that trigger depression that are not related to work. These reasons are considered common contingencies and it is the family doctor who is in charge of managing the sick leave.
On the other hand, there are reasons directly related to work (for example, continuous burnout, conflicts with co-workers, or even suffering sexual harassment by a member of the team). In this case, we are talking about professional contingencies and it is the mutual insurance company that is responsible for accrediting them.
Unfortunately, it is not always possible for companies to avoid mental health sick leave among their employees. However, they must do their best to prevent it, knowing which professional contingencies can cause it and taking the necessary measures to take care of their employees’ health.
Mental sick leave is a worker’s right
They are not alone when facing this responsibility. Ifeel has created an emotional well-being program for companies designed by its team of leading psychologists to help companies boost their employees’ mental health, placing it at the core of their strategy to improve productivity sustainably.
Thanks to this partnership, HR managers can receive personalized, data-driven advice on the most effective measures to prevent a mental health sick leave among employees or to address it in the best way for all those involved once it has already happened.
In addition, ifeel’s emotional well-being program for companies offers employees a mental health care service structured at different levels depending on individual needs. This way, employees can access various mental health care tools with ifeel’s app. On level two, they can receive emotional support through a chat with one of our platform’s licensed psychologists. If additional support is needed, they can access the third level of the program: online psychological therapy with a psychologist specialized in cases such as theirs.