Calling in mental health sickies without telling porkies

| April 20, 2021

The biggest stumbling block to dealing with mental health in the workplace, is that no one knows how to talk about it, David Westgate explains.

Words like ‘anxiety’ and ‘depression’ strike fear into the hardiest of colleagues, let alone immediate bosses. This, of course, causes significant problems when dealing with that Aussie institution: calling in a sickie.

So may I suggest the following: No longer will those of us who suffer be able to cover mental health issues with words such as, “cold, flu, gastric or migraine”.

It’s not worthy of us.

By the same token, we can’t just dive in at the deep-end by ringing in and saying, “Sorry, won’t be in today. I feel a psychotic episode coming on”.

Instead, from this day forward, the following euphemisms will be recognised by both parties as code for mental health issues:

– Feel like crap
– Bit foggy today
– Lousy as all get-out
– Death warmed over
– Just feel like shit

Feel free to embellish as you wish but from now on, no more deliberate porkies please. Until we are all big enough to call a spade a spade, this will have to do.

How does your business support employees’ mental health?

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