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Is mental health a good excuse to get out of work?

Published: Jun. 7, 2021 at 4:59 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Since tennis star Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open because of mental health issues, some ask whether mental health is a viable excuse to get out of work obligations.

Reports of anxiety and depression are up since the pandemic began, according to the owner of TC Counseling and Consulting Tammy Cauthen.

Cauthen said she has had an influx of patients who were unable to perform at work due to mental health challenges and some managers are understanding.

“A reduced work schedule. It depends on the employer. Some are allowing people to continue to work from home,” Cauthen said.

Some even offer time off through FMLA.

Cauthen said the employee has to complete a number of counseling sessions and paperwork would need to be filed with the employer.

But it’s up to the employer’s discretion to approve requests.

“If they are denied, they need to reapply again. You have to realize that you can to just come to one or two sessions and think it’s going to be approved. You have to have a reoccurring situation where the employer knows it’s an ongoing issue,” Cauthen explained.

Cauthen said most employers offer Employee Assistance Programs that include FREE counseling sessions; check with your employer for details.

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