slidedown

What’s your view of people taking a mental health day?

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue Line

Our reader poll today asks: What’s your view of people taking a mental health day?

  • It’s important and they should do it whenever they need to: 78%
  • It should only be taken in severe circumstances: 19%
  • They shouldn’t take time off unless they have a physical illness: 3%

Health is health. While the overwhelming majority of you support your associates taking mental health days whenever needed, more than 20% of you are less supportive of that approach. With the rise of mental health issues at home and in the workplace, it’s incumbent upon leaders to expand their view of what self-care entails. Is it more important to keep track of why someone takes a sick day and approving or disapproving of their reasons for doing so or should we be focused more on healthy associates delivering solid performance? Most of us don’t have psychology, psychiatry, or medical degrees. We’re not qualified to accurately assess whether or not someone needs time off due to mental health reasons. If we’re not qualified to make that judgment, then we shouldn’t make it. Instead, ask how you can best support your associate who likely knows much better than you do what they need to take care of themselves.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

Did you enjoy this post?  If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog.  It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!).  SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!

These results were originally a SmartPulse poll in SmartBrief on Leadership which tracks feedback from more than 240,000 business leaders. Get smarter on leadership and sign up for the SmartBrief on Leadership e-newsletter.

3 Responses to “What’s your view of people taking a mental health day?”

  1. Jeremy says:

    Mike, I tend to agree with your poll results. I especially like your comment, “We should be focused more on healthy associates delivering solid performance.” We’ve all been around someone who’s checked out and probably thought we’d get more done if they weren’t there. In my mind, the challenge if you let people take mental health days is, how do you not let them take advantage of the policy? We’ve all heard you give them an inch they take a mile.

    • Mike Figliuolo says:

      I think it’s a fair question Jeremy. I’d submit it’s no different than someone abusing other sick day policies. If they’re out too much, ensure they’re getting professional medical help. For physical ailments, obviously they should be seeing a doctor. For mental health, perhaps put them in touch with your EAP (employee assistance program) folks if you have that function. I’d also push us even more to an approach like Greg mentions – give people days for purposes of their own choosing. They then manage them. It seems unfair to punish healthy people for not taking sick days. Just give everyone the same number of days regardless of reason. If someone is in crisis for medical health or mental health, obviously involve professionals to assess the situation if it’s going to go beyond the allocated leave days.

  2. Greg Beckman says:

    I would add – qualifying “why” there is time is frivolous. Just take the time. Mental health, prostate health… it’s your time… use it.

Leave a Reply





  • ©Copyright thoughtLEADERS, LLC. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast in whole or in part without the EXPRESS WRITTEN CONSENT OF thoughtLEADERS, LLC. Content may not be republished, reproduced or distributed in whole or in part without the proper attribution of the work and disclosure of its source including a direct link back to the original content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content nor can you modify the content in any way. However, you may download material from this website for your personal, noncommercial use only. Links to websites other than those owned by thoughtLEADERS, LLC are offered as a service to readers. thoughtLEADERS, LLC was not involved in their production and is not responsible for their content.

    thoughtLEADERS, LLC has worked to ensure the accuracy of the information included herein. thoughtLEADERS, LLC is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services beyond training, coaching, and consulting. Its reports or articles should not be construed as professional advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. thoughtLEADERS, LLC is not responsible for any claims or losses that may arise from any errors or omissions in our reports or reliance upon any recommendation or advice provided by thoughtLEADERS, LLC.

    thoughtLEADERS, LLC is committed to protecting your privacy. You can read our privacy policy by clicking here.