How to Apply for Mental Health Leave

When life circumstances become too stressful, sometimes it is necessary to tend to your mental health by taking time off work. Forcing yourself to work as your stress builds can contribute to emotional and physical illness. Luckily, mental health leave from work can help you recuperate when you most need it. 

The process to attain this type of leave can seem daunting at first, but once you know where to start, you can begin to take steps to take leave from work that will significantly benefit your mental health.

Signs of mental stress

If you find yourself consistently anxious, sad, or angry and are plagued with thoughts of constant worry, these can be emotional symptoms of worsening mental health. When these symptoms begin to fester and impact your physical health, where you’re often suffering from headaches, insomnia, and digestive problems, it should be a definitive sign to take action. Knowing the signs that stress is manifesting into physical symptoms and mental distress will let you know that it is time to seek leave from work to prevent ailing health. 

These varied symptoms can impact your quality of work and your interpersonal connections. Your mental health should not be disregarded, and if you suffer immensely from these symptoms, taking a mental health leave from work could be necessary. 

Doctors appointment

Once you recognize the symptoms of ailing mental health, you should make an appointment with your healthcare provider to receive documentation that will help you get mental health leave. Be honest with your healthcare provider about the physical and emotional symptoms you are experiencing. Providing details that might be uncomfortable to share will help your doctor grasp the extent of your mental health troubles. Additionally, contacting a mental health professional can provide you with coping mechanisms to help you manage overwhelming stress. Consult your nearest mental health clinic to receive guidance and care. 

It may seem unfair that you need such detailed documentation from a doctor to prove you should be granted leave, but it is a crucial and proactive step in alleviating your troubles. 

HR and your employer

Requesting mental health leave will require you to talk to your HR department head and your supervisor. Requesting leave is a process that can vary depending on the company you work for, which is why reading your workplace guide or handbook can inform you on who you should contact and what documentation is needed. 

Bring your documentation from your healthcare provider to this meeting. Generally, you need to be direct with your HR department and supervisor as you request leave for health reasons. It would further help if you came prepared to answer questions about how workplace stress has ultimately impacted your health. Be open and honest about your troubles and communicate how you are learning to cope.

Mental health leave

As soon as you’re able, begin the process to receive mental health leave from your job. Many employers require notice before you can take leave, and many HR departments will guide you through this procedure. You should also check to see if you’re employers offer disability insurance that you may qualify for. 

Caring for your mental health should be a top priority, and alleviating stress by taking mental leave from your work is the right step to take. 

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