Letter to the Editor: Employers Should Recognize Mental Health Days

Photo+courtesy+of+Wikimedia+Commons

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Kaley Holden

Dear Readers,

Did you know that mental health struggles affect almost 20% of the population? Did you know that mental health and mental illness can be synonymous?  The amount of people that labor against anxiety, depression, PTSD, and so many other mental health issues is something that most people don’t talk openly about. 

The labor that also goes into maintaining a good standing at an individual’s job weighs heavily on these folks. Research done by the Center for Prevention and Health Services found that there has been an alarming total of lost production due to these individuals’ struggle with mental illness, about 217 million days annually. 

Unfortunately, a contributing factor to this strain is the stress of a person not being able to do their best work, or even be able to go to work. Something that I believe would be worthwhile for companies, and obviously those struck with these illnesses, is for Mental Health Days to be incorporated into the workforce. 

These Mental Health Days should be alongside but separate from sick days, vacation days, and personal days. If a person is allowed to call in sick with pneumonia, which is completely out of their control, shouldn’t a person with crippling anxiety be able to do the same to be able to collect themselves? 

Please take into consideration the impacts, losses, and gains that can happen with this new incorporation. Consider this for the businesses, the corporations, the teams, and most importantly, the person suffering.

Thank you for your time and attention,

Kaley Holden, a victim of mental illness.