What To Say When Calling In Sick For Mental Health?

People are less conscious of mental health though it's equally as important as physical health. However, working whilst suffering through mental health issues may be more detrimental to your body than you might imagine, especially when it comes to speaking about it. Thus, no matter what your work is, it's always wise to take a break.

So, how do you take a break, or what to say when calling in sick for mental health? You should state your troubles with your mental condition and ask for a leave. Also, be polite, don't give excessive excuses, and send them medical reports if you have any.

In this article, we will provide an in-depth discussion about the significance of mental health and mental health leave. You will learn about the steps for calling in sick for mental health and alternatives. Thus, if you're concerned, go through this article.

What To Say When Calling In Sick For Mental Health

Why Is Mental Health Important To Think Seriously?

Mental illness is inseparably correlated with everything around us. It induces biochemical changes in your brain that make the brain incapable of feeling positive sentiments. Here are some points highlighting why mental health is essential-

  • For Physical Fitness

Mental illness can set you at many health risks. We regard depression to be a mental illness that later directs to several biological problems, such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

  • Suicidal Tendencies

Most people with mental health disorders go through depression. Extreme depressive episodes often lead to the loss of control of one's mental health. Tolerance level lessons and as a consequence, many are moving swiftly toward suicide.

  • Intended to Crime

Those with mental illness can make inappropriate decisions and get influenced by the wrong company. Therefore,  they might get involved in illegal activities, and crime tends to expand in society.

  • Affects Relationships

You may also have bad relations with people around you, and you can feel disgusted in your life, which ends up affecting important relationships. After all, mental health is vital if you don't want to make your life a nightmare.

When Should You Call In Sick For Mental Health?

It is a matter of concern when you discover that your mental health is not in a good state. Recovery calls for rest, and rest calls for a day off from work or taking a sick leave. Even when you have symptoms like the following, call in sick-

  • losing interest in all your favorite activities.
  • Not being able to concentrate at work
  • Your surroundings are becoming intolerable due to excessive stress.
  • If you feel like staying away from outside contact for a while.
  • No productivity and loss of passion for your desired project.
  • Not being able to think straight and put ideas into work projects.
  • Going through grieving episodes.
  • Having panic attacks.

Moreover, you may see your relationship with the people around you deteriorating. Even if nothing is going the way you want it to be, it will be the right time for you to take a break from work to prevent the effects of mental illness from spreading deeper.

On an important note, there are numerous types of dangerous mental health issues, which if diagnosed, one should take leave no matter what. However, ADA and FMLA didn't specify any particular conditions as mental health issues. Thus, you are free to call in sick for mental health, whether it is diagnosed or not. Call in sick immediately when you have-

  • Bipolar disorders
  • Extreme anxiety disorders
  • Phobia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorders
  • Schizophrenic disorders
  • A problem in concentration or ADHD.
  • Difficulty in sleeping or extreme insomnia

What To Say When Calling In Sick For Mental Health?

If you don't prioritize your mental health, you won't be able to conduct your daily tasks as generously as you should. As your brain will not function accurately, you will lose control of your mental state and performance.

Therefore, it will be a wise decision for you to call in sick for your mental health. There are a few examples of what you should say to your employer while doing this:

  • "My mental health issues are getting worse with the tremendous work pressure. That's why I want to take a break for my mental calmness".
  • "I am having difficulty coping with everything nowadays. Also, excessive mental stress affects my health. Is it possible to grant me a leave of a few days?"
  • "The tight schedule and huge sudden increase in workload have caused me huge anxiety recently. Thus, if it's possible, let me take time off for my recovery purposes."
  • "Due to some mental stress, I can't concentrate on my schedule correctly. This affects both my personal and work life.  As I need to recover, I want to take a few days off."
  • "I had some mental health issues before. Recently, the symptoms have been getting worse and more challenging to handle. Hence, it will be better for me to take time off from work."

Don't say stuff like-

  • "I have a mental illness like severe anxiety/depression/trauma"
  • "I am suffering from extreme stress, which only increases with added work pressure"
  • " I have been going through depression, please give me a sick leave"

Saying things like such can quickly deteriorate your impression of your employer. Hence, stick to the above-mentioned methods as they sound much better and professional.

Steps To Follow When Calling In Sick For Mental Health

People still don't take mental illness as seriously as physical illness. No one wants to bother again, and they think it's an excuse to gamble on the job. So, a few tips can make your calling in sick in case of mental health easy. Here are they:

  1. Make A Plan Beforehand About What You Are Going To Tell

You have to plan in advance how to persuade your boss and what point you will discuss with them. Hence, you will have less probability of forgetting your main point. Don't get too overwhelmed by asking for leave for mental illness.

  • Following Office Rules of Taking a Leave

Make sure you are following the official rules after calling in sick. In some workplaces, only informing your employers that you want to take leave will be okay. Yet, some workplaces require official notice like an application or email.

You must follow the official rules in all regards. Sometimes, some workplaces have strict rules about informing at least a week before taking a leave. Therefore, you also need to keep this in your mind

  • Don't Feel Guilty

People are very judgemental and discriminate against those who are mentally ill. However, you have to feel okay to talk about your mental health because it's a prevalent health disorder throughout the world.

  • No Need To Explain Yourself Excessively

Try to keep your words precise. If you try to explain yourself excessively about this matter, there is a high possibility that others will misunderstand you. Your boss may think you are making excuses to skip your work.

Sometimes, they also may get misconceptions that you have a severe mental health issue. In this case, they may try to avoid you or treat you differently.

  • Ask For The Leave In Advance

If you try to take leave all of a sudden, there is less chance that they will allow you. Inform your employer about mental health issues where you work. Since you have to follow some rules and regulations at work, you should inform the boss in advance to take leave.

What Is The Next Step After Calling In Sick For Mental Health?

When you feel like taking a few days off from your monotonous scheduled life, you have to talk to your employee first. Here are some steps that you need to follow after calling in sick for mental health:

  • Focus On Yourself Completely

After asking for time off, you should entirely focus on yourself. For this, first, keep your distance from your office work for some time. During this time, stop involving yourself with office work.

Moreover, you can also focus on your hobbies, favorite books, or any other therapeutic activity to calm your mind.

  • Consult With Mental Health Professionals

If you can't stabilize your mind, you can ask for professional help. For this, you can consult with any psychiatrist. He will diagnose your mental imbalance and emotional and behavioral disorder.

You shouldn't try any anti-depression drugs yourself as they may cause further mental health issues. That means it is always a better choice to consult with a psychiatrist and practice works-out and continue medication according to prescription.

Will You be Benefited by Taking Mental Health Leave?

A monotonous daily life schedule can cause boredom, mental stress, anxiety, and tiredness of mind. If you don't feel like working, you shouldn't drag yourself to the workplace. Eventually, the output won't be excellent for your physical and mental health. Also, your productivity level will go down.

  • If you take a mental health leave, your mental stress will reduce, and you also get time to focus on yourself.
  • During this break time, you can sleep peacefully without worrying about the stress of workloads. Extra sleep can improve your mental focus and reduce your tiredness and anxiety.
  • Getting back to your hobbies can increase the adrenaline rush in your body, which will increase your happiness. Therefore, your mental boredom will disappear.
  • You will also get enough time to spend with your family members. This will enhance the bond and give you a feeling of safety.
  • When you return to your workplace after a mental health leave, your mind will be fresher than ever before. Thus, you will be able to concentrate and cope with the work stress again.

Alternative To Calling In Sick For Mental Health Leave

Taking mental health leave is indeed beneficial, but remember, it is a temporary solution to your mental health issues. It is possible to face mental problems again when you return to work. That's why you should follow these alternative ways:

  • Try to face the issues rather than escape.
  • Request your employer to reduce the workload
  • Start to practice meditation. It will boost your mental power, lower your anxiety and stress levels, and boost your mood.
  • Consult a physician for your mental health issues. They will provide you with some beta-blocker drugs, which will effectively stabilize your mental state.
  • Make some time every day to focus on yourself. You can work on your hobbies or passion during this time.

Is There A Risk Of Losing Your Job If You Disclose Your Mental Health Issues?

According to labor law, it's the employers' responsibility to ensure the safety of the physical and psychological health of employees. Besides, ADA restricts employers from firing someone for mental health conditions.

Instead, it will be considered wrongful termination and discrimination against employees for their health conditions. If your employer fires you after knowing about your mental health conditions, ADA entitles you to sue the employer. 

However, if your mental health issue affects your work execution and proficiency, there is a high risk that the employer can fire you. ADA doesn't force employers to keep employees unable to perform their duty due to their mental health conditions.

Also, if you misbehave, hurt others and do something like violations of company rules due to your mental issues, you may lose your job.

Frequently Asked Questions

Aside from knowing all the tactics of how and what you can say when asking for leave, here are some common questions that might help you more in this regard-

  1. What To Do If I Feel Worse Calling In Sick For Mental Health Over the Phone?

You might find it difficult to talk face-to-face or over the phone while asking for time off for mental health. In this case, talking via text or email will keep your anxiety under control.

  • Is Mental Health Day Considered As a Sick Day?

No. A sick day means taking leave for severe mental disorders or physical illness. However, a mental health day refers to taking time off to recover from the physical and psychological stress of routine life.

  • Is It Taboo To Miss Work for Mental Health Issues?

Yes. Other employees can think you are weak and mentally ill and can discriminate against you for taking a mental health leave. A lack of social awareness about mental health is responsible for this. Fortunately, this taboo is becoming less and less day by day.


Mental health is a compassionate and crucial issue. People worry about what others will think of them if they disclose their mental issues. As a result, coping with everything while dealing with mental health problems makes the situation worse.

In this article, we tried to hold up the importance of mental health breaks and how to ask your boss. If you are here from the start, you already know what to say when calling in sick for mental health. Also, follow the rules mentioned above while asking for leave from your employer. Hopefully, This mental health break will help you to come back with a better version of yourself.

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