Over the first few months of this year, my mental health was taking a heavy toll due to many stressors, including those at work and at home. As a result, I knew that I needed to make some changes, but I was not too confident or sure that I could make all of the necessary lifestyle changes and health things while I was still working.
Fortunately, I was able to take STD (or otherwise known as Short-Term Disability) from my job, which was generous to have an insurance policy on employees to help them with financial assistance should they be out of the office for an extended period of time (up to 6 months) for a medical reason. The whole process took about a week and a half and was pretty straightforward. It required filling out some forms and then getting the doctor’s permission to release my records to the insurance company. It was quickly reviewed and I received both a phone call and email when it was approved.
During my leave, I engaged in the IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) again and also kept my employer and the insurance company updated about my situation. When I needed an extension, the process was super similar to what I had done previously. When I finished IOP, I let both parties (my work and insurance company) know and updated the patient portal accordingly for the insurance site.
Overall, I am super happy to have this benefit and have had the ability to use it effectively. I wish the circumstances were not so bad as to be using it, but I am grateful for the opportunity to take time off without having to worry about my finances.
Have you ever needed to take time off of school or work for your mental health? Did your school or work know your reason? How do your jobs or school react to mental health issues in their employees and students?