Benefits Advisory

Doona Day could pay Dividends

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Giving employees the OK to take a ‘mental health day’ leads to less absenteeism and less presenteeism. However, many organisations still don’t recognise mental health days as a viable reason to call in sick. 

Psychologist Rachel Clements says that taking a mental health day is not just for those of us who have a diagnosed mental health condition, but that it’s a “proactive thing… to get it before it becomes a mental health issue”. Too much stress, overwhelm or feeling disconnected could be the warning signs that your focus has shifted away from your mental health and a short break away from work to refocus may be necessary. 

Organisations that allow staff that sometimes very necessary break in a busy period, will have a more resilient, emotionally balanced, and engaged workforce. 

With RUOK? Day last week, it’s important to keep conversations going about being OK at home and at work. It may be easier said than done to change the culture about mental health at work. Our suggestion? Implement Mental Health Days into your sick leave policies. In some countries these are called ‘Duvet Days’ so why not instil a ‘Doona Day’ policy, where staff feel comfortable that their employer understands that sometimes staff just need to look after themselves for the day. 

For those companies that feel like individuals may still not feel safe taking a Doona Day, allowing staff to take a sick day here and there without a medical certificate might help alleviate stigma attached to taking a Mental Health Day. 

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