According to, giving employees permission to take “mental health days” may be the key to greater productivity. In the past, employers frowned upon such practices, anxious that their employees were taking advantage of the company to get more paid time off. Now, thanks to new research, business are beginning to recognise the value of employees who feel more rested and refreshed thanks to a mental health day or two.

The Stigma Surrounding “Mental Health Days”

Asking the boss for a “mental health day” used to have a serious stigma attached to it. Such a request might be viewed as a sign of weakness, an indication that the person making the request couldn’t handle the responsibilities and demands of the job. In some cases, the boss might view it as a sign that the employee was mentally unstable. Because of the stigma surrounding mental health in Singapore, a conclusion like that could put the employee’s job at risk.

The National Business Group Report

The National Business Group on Health published a report about substance abuse and mental illness, focusing on how much these conditions cost employers every year. They accounted for the lost work as well as health costs and the cost of potentially having to hire new employees to replace the struggling ones. They cited losses of up to $17 billion each year, along with the 217 million days of lost productivity. Compared to those losses, a paid day off here and there seems well worth it, if it preserves the mental health of employees.

Benefits of Mental Health Days

Thanks to greater awareness of mental health in Singapore, more and more company leaders are beginning to recognise the “mental health day” for what it is— nothing more or less than a day of rest. It’s a day to get some extra sleep, eat right, exercise, listen to music, laugh with family members, and spend time in calmness and meditation. Sometimes, the weekend doesn’t provide workers with enough time for those things, so taking a workday off can be a necessity.

Thoughts from Forbes Coaches Council Members

Instead of begrudging the mental health days, businesses are noting that their workers come back refreshed and better rested, more able to dive into the workload with energy. Susan Taylor, a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and leader of Generon International, says, “In a world that moves at an unprecedented speed and intensity, offering personal days not only benefits employees … it also benefits the organization, potentially minimizing costly mistakes and accidents.”

Another Forbes Coaches Council member, Tonyalynne Wildhaber, agrees. “Employees are our true stakeholders and we must prioritize them however possible within our organizations,” she explains. “If it is important for employees to regularly contribute high-impact, high-quality work, it is equally essential they have flexible, paid time to contribute to their whole health and wellness.”

Counselling for Stressed Employees

If taking additional time off isn’t an option for you, or if you continue to struggle with anxiety and stress despite taking a break from work, consider paying a visit to a psychologist or psychiatrist. At Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic, we have a great team that includes highly skilled psychiatrists in Singapore. We can help you find fresh ways to cope with stress and to deal with depression, anger, anxiety, or other emotions. In time, you can find greater peace with yourself and greater joy in your life.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Forbes, 5 Oct 2017