For months, you pushed yourself to take care of your job duties, but you cannot push away your mental health struggles anymore. You feel you must take a leave of absence to tend to your mental health, but how do you do so while protecting your job?
HuffPost shares options for taking time off work on mental health leave. Learn how to exercise and protect your employee rights.
Types of leave
To make things easier for yourself and your employer, it helps to know what kinds of leave you have available. The Family and Medical Leave Act gives qualifying workers 12 weeks of unpaid leave to address a severe health condition while retaining health benefits. In California, employees on FMLA leave could receive a percentage of pay while away from work.
Your employer may offer long- or short-term disability to cover your leave of absence. If so, ask how much experience your company’s HR department has navigating the logistics of disability leave. Some HR professionals understand the paperwork and know how to make it easy for employees to go on disability leave, while others struggle with the process. It also makes sense to ask HR if your company offers other programs or options for employees wanting to go on mental health leave.
Before approaching your boss about mental health leave, consider seeing a mental health specialist to better understand your feelings and what they could mean regarding your mental health. Then, the two of you may work together to decide how much time you may need off.
When employees feel empowered to take care of themselves and their psychological health, workers and employers alike benefit.