mental health sick leave

Mental health sick leave: a healthcare tool

Mental health sick leave is a right workers have when their mental health suffers due to disorders such as depression. Mental health sick leave is a tool they use when they need to halt their work activity temporarily to follow their treatment properly and recover from it.

There are different causes that give rise to this health problem and can therefore end up leading to a mental health sick leave related to depression that negatively impacts the company, apart from the negative impact on the individual’s health. Some of these causes may be related to work itself. This is why companies have a great responsibility when it comes to preventing possible risk factors in this area. In addition, they must take into account the complexity of this issue in order to be able to provide the employee being affected by it with the support they need.

It is important to keep in mind that depression is a mental health disorder that can manifest itself with varying levels of severity and, therefore, with different consequences in the lives of the people affected and their environments. When it is very intense, it should be considered a serious health problem and can involve a significant degree of limitation for the person who suffers from it. 

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Usually, this mood disorder tends to be confused with a feeling of intense sadness in which the person is plunged into a permanent state of melancholy that is difficult to get rid of and that isolates them from their environment. In reality, in addition to this melancholic state, depression must be related to a generalized and profound feeling of apathy, unwillingness, hopelessness, difficulty in enjoying and getting involved in different aspects of life, and emotional disconnection towards their surroundings. 

mental health sick leave

The benefits of mental health sick leave

As stated above, it is a mistake to consider that a person suffering from depression is simply someone who is very sad. It is rather someone who is so “switched off” that their responsibility and attachment to life and people is progressively weakening.

For this reason, it is of great importance to properly diagnose the presence of depression, to apply the necessary psychological and, if necessary, psychiatric treatment, and to provide the person affected with the necessary support to address their immediate health goal: to recover as soon as possible.

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This requires time, and it is in this context where the concept of mental health sick leave is introduced and takes on its full relevance. 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. For this reason, they need to take a break to try to get back on their feet without necessarily losing their job, which is a highly undesirable consequence.

Reasons to take mental health sick leave due to depression

At a bureaucratic level, it is established that the employee may need mental health sick leave due to two different reasons.

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Common contingencies

On the one hand, there are personal reasons, i.e., those that trigger depression that are not related to work. These types of causes are considered common contingencies and it is the family doctor who is in charge of managing the sick leave.

Profesional contingencies

On the other hand, we must look at the reasons that are directly related to work (for example a continuous situation of burnout, conflicts with co-workers, or even suffering sexual harassment by a team member). In this case, we are talking about professional contingencies and, unlike in the other case, it is the mutual insurance company that is responsible for accrediting them.

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Unfortunately, it is not always possible for companies to avoid the emergence of depression among their employees. However, every organization must do its best to prevent it, knowing which professional contingencies can cause it and taking the necessary measures to take care of the health of the members of the workforce. 

mental health sick leave

Emotional well-being program for companies

Organizations 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. 

We hope you have found this post about mental health sick leave useful. If you want more information about our emotional well-being program for companies, simply request it and we will contact your team as soon as possible.

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