More people are seeking out therapy and mental health services than ever before, contributing to a mental health crisis. This doesn’t mean people should stop seeking these life-changing treatments, but instead that healthcare providers need to step up. A better approach towards living that puts mental health and physical health on par is essential to establish a well-adjusted, healthy society that can move forward from trauma, stress, and crises.
One of the societal shifts is the emergence of mental health days. While not adopted everywhere, support for taking a mental health day is increasing for students and workers alike. What these days look like will depend on the person, with some benefitting from a work-from-home setup for days when they’re not feeling well to taking the day off entirely to seek out emergency care for their mental health condition.
Can students take mental health days?
Students and young people can absolutely take mental health days. Mental health issues range in intensity, and sometimes being able to stay at home can improve a student’s condition considerably. This is particularly true in a post-COVID world where classrooms are more integrated with technology than before. You can simply get in touch with the teacher/s to get caught up on the work missed.
A student’s mental health directly impacts their performance. This is why more schools and universities are increasing their mental health support. You can take a day and catch up later, or even take off the rest of the semester and take it again the next year. This allows students who have reached their breaking point or who are going through an extended grieving or mental health crisis to prioritise their health and come back to their education when they’re better.
Mental health days can particularly help children when they’re feeling overwhelmed. If they’re making mental health days a pattern, however, parents must investigate. Schools are usually fun places for kids, and if your child is regularly trying to avoid going, there are likely deeper issues at play.
What are the benefits of mental health days?
Mental health days can:
- Reduce anxiety
- Minimise stress
- Let individuals process emotions
- Give people time to seek out health services
There is no wrong or right way to use a mental health day. However, you will want to find the best approach to lower your stress and improve your mental well-being. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, taking the time to focus on the things you love can be just the ticket, or you may want to book an emergency session with your therapist or GP, depending on the type of mental health concerns you have.
When mental health days are not enough
Mental health days are great options when you’re feeling overwhelmed, but they are not a cure-all. Seeking medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a mental health professional is essential for tackling the root cause. With NHS GP, you can refer yourself for counselling and get free support and access to psychological therapies. If you’re at the start of your mental health recovery journey, you can even take our depression self-assessment test to understand better how you’re feeling.