This Viral Reddit Thread Is Starting An Important Conversation About Mental Health In The Workplace, And It's Something Everyone Should Think About

·3 min read

If you've ever had to lie to your boss about needing time off for mental health, you are definitely not alone.

Earlier this week, a viral Reddit thread prompted many people to reveal the truth about their work attendance. "Have you ever faked sick to get out of work?" user InvestAuggers asked in the post.

The post started with people admitting to faking sick and revealing what excuses they have used, including "catching a bug" or "having a migraine."

  Giphy / Via
Giphy / Via

However, people later revealed the reasons why they had lied to their bosses, and an overwhelming amount shared that they would rather lie about having a physical ailment than be honest about their mental health.

Here's what some users said in the thread.

1. "I've faked physical sickness to hide the fact that my mental health was in the toilet. Easier conversation to have."


2. "I would probably fake being ill instead of saying I need a mental health day, just because current work culture expects you to come into work unless you're on the brink of being hospitalized."


3. "I thought about putting mental health as the reason I was off on the return to work form, still made up something about a headache and flu like symptoms."


4. "In previous employers I still did the 'Oh I think it's a 24-hour nondescript headache and tiredness - should be back tomorrow' routine because it wasn't worth the hassle of being honest."


The thread continued to fill with people sharing their experiences with "faking sick," pointing to a general consensus that people did not feel comfortable talking about their mental health within their workplace.

5. "I think most people are still afraid to use the term mental health day and still come up with some physical ailment. I’d like it if companies just made this acceptable by establishing a handful of mental health days distinct from sick days. Really human beings aren’t meant to be living this crazy working world anyway, we just have to."


And it looks like many people beyond the Reddit thread feel that their work has an impact on their mental health, too.

According to Yahoo Finance, over 40% of workers in a 1,000-person survey said that they are affected by the Sunday Scaries, or that feeling of doom before the start of the work week.

But it looks like more companies are headed in the right direction, and are starting to acknowledge the mental health of employees. Companies like LinkedIn and Bumble have offered their workers mental health days, or periods of time where they are allowed to take paid time off to rest up and recover from burnout.

And it looks like companies would actually save money by offering mental health support to their employees. "Employers offering more support were twice as likely to report a greater than 50% return-to-work rate after mental-health-related disability leave," Forbes reported.

Does your company offer mental health days? Let us know in the comments.

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