6 Ways to reduce stress in the workplace
July 30 2018Read more
Responsible for 15 million working days lost in a year, depression is a serious mental health concern.
If you’re depressed, you need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself—if you’re not fit for work due to depression, there are steps and procedures you need to take.
If you’re off work for fewer than seven days, you don’t need a sick note for stress and depression. You can ‘self-certify’—this means filling in a form when you return to work. This applies to any sickness, not just mental health issues. An understanding employer will let you call in sick with depression.
It’s common for this condition to affect your ability to do your job. If you cannot work because of or have an inability to work due to depression, a little time off can help you to recover. Sometimes a little time to yourself to decompress and take care of issues is what you need.
If you’re absent for more than seven days, including weekends and bank holidays, your employer will likely request a ‘fit note’. This is often known as a ‘sick note’ or ‘doctors note’ and is issued after an assessment of your depression.
Depression is a serious mental health issue, and in genuine cases, a doctor will issue a fit note. Follow the earlier advice—attend the first appointment you can, and speak honestly about your problems. You can take someone with you as a form of support to the appointment.
There’s a degree of stigma around taking time off work with mental health issues. People can be seen as skiving or playing the system. But if you’re depressed, you need to be certain to look after yourself. And the doctor is not there to judge you as a person.
Getting medical leave for depression is a good step on the road to recovery. It’s only a step, though—use the time to assess yourself, the things you need out of life and the barriers to your happiness.
You might use the time to look for other work. This is perfectly fine—a new role with less stress could be just what you need. Or you might use the time to simply breathe, be mindful and clear your head. It’s up to you.
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