January 21, 2024

Quitting a Job Due to Mental Health

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Medicially Reviewed By:
Dr. Priya Chaudhri
credentials here

If you are considering quitting your job due to mental health issues, don’t! There are other options to consider instead. Don’t give up your source of income because you have a current mental health challenge. Instead, work with your employer to take some time off for treatment.

What Triggers a Mental Health Event?

We all have a unique ability to cope with adverse life events. One person may have a high capacity for resilience, where another may quickly become overwhelmed. Stress tolerance is quite variable based on how developed your coping skills are.

Here are some of the common causes of a mental health crisis:

  • Living through a traumatic event.
  • An undiagnosed mental health disorder.
  • Chronic stress on the job.
  • The sudden death of a loved one.
  • Having too many responsibilities on your plate.
  • Family history of mental health disorders.
  • Receiving a serious health diagnosis.
  • Serious financial troubles.
  • Exposure to ongoing physical or sexual abuse.

What are the Signs of a Mental Health Crisis?

It is much easier to hide the effects of a mental health disorder, whether it is depression, anxiety, or PTSD at home versus at work. Just compare hiding away at home versus struggling publicly with mental health problems in the work setting. How hard it is to hide your anguish from coworkers, much less functioning at your job at all.

Here are some of the common signs of a decline in mental health status:

  • Impaired functioning.
  • Severe mood swings.
  • Dissociative behaviors.
  • Mental confusion.
  • Symptoms of psychosis.
  • Odd body positions or movements.
  • Withdraws socially.
  • Paranoid thoughts.
  • Sleep disruption
  • Personality changes.
  • Confused speech.
  • Poor hygiene.
  • Becoming a danger to self or others.

When a mental health disorder impedes a person’s ability to function at their job, it is called impairment of functioning. Signs of impairment might include inability to complete tasks, missing deadlines and meetings, and not being able to think straight. It wouldn’t take long for coworkers and management to become aware of the problem.

How to Ask an Employer for a Mental Health Leave of Absence

If you need time off work to get treatment for a mental health challenge, your job is protected. When you meet with your employer to request a medical leave, they will have a protocol in place. If seeking just a few days off, there is no need to divulge the mental health issue. In this event, you will arrange for some time off to obtain some outpatient treatment. If you are considering quitting a job due to mental health, there are options to review.

However, in some cases the mental health event you are struggling with is much more serious, therefore a longer leave is needed. If requesting an extended leave, say up to twelve weeks, the employer will require a doctor’s confirmation of the illness. The doctor provides comments and advisement regarding the need for the extended treatment period.

Be aware that there are criteria that must be met for the Mental Health FMLA approval. First, the Act only applies to companies with fifty or more employees. Also, you must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the past twelve months to qualify for leave through the Act.

Another way your job is protected in the event a mental health leave is needed is through the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA provides for an employee to request accommodations for a mental health disorder, which may include taking time off for treatment.

What are the Treatment Options for Mental Health?

Relief from the symptoms of a mental health disorder can be achieved through a customized treatment plan that is designed for your specific needs. The first step in obtaining help is the psychological evaluation. A “psych eval” is the assessment of a person’s mental health at a given moment in time. A psych eval is conducted by a psychiatrist or psychotherapist, who can then determine the proper level of care.

There are two basic options for mental health treatment:

  • Outpatient treatment. The assessment may suggest that your mental health disorder can be managed through an outpatient setting. There are two levels of care, the intensive outpatient program or a day program. These types of mental health programs provide the flexibility to continue working part-time or from home.
  • Residential treatment. A moderate to severe mental health disorder requires a more intensive treatment setting, such as an inpatient or residential program. These programs provide housing on site and offer a full daily schedule of therapies and holistic activities. A inpatient mental health program offers more individualized care within a private, intimate setting.

What to Expect at a Residential Mental Health Treatment Program

Enrolling in  residential program allows you to take some time away from work to truly focus on getting better. In fact, the work setting itself may have been compounding your mental health issues. By taking a break from your job you can direct all your time and energy on getting the help you need.

While in treatment you will engage in these therapeutic activities:

  • Psychotherapy. Individual therapy sessions allow you to explore the issues that are contributing to the current mental health issues. Evidence-based psychotherapies are selected based on your specific diagnosis and unique treatment plan.
  • Medication. There are drugs that can relieve many of the symptoms you are struggling with. By finding relief from the symptoms you’ll be better able to function when you return to work.
  • Group sessions. Group therapy allows you to meet with your peers in treatment and have discussions based on the topics provided. Your time in treatment is enriched by these group sessions, where you will find support and friendship.
  •  Family therapy. Family members are asked to join their loved one to gain new insights about their mental health struggles. Family members will learn how they can be of support to you once you arrive back home.
  • Psychosocial process group. These group sessions help prepare you for your recovery. You’ll learn new social skills, coping skills, stress regulation techniques, and problem-solving skills.
  • Holistic methods. Learning how to regulate stress is a key coping tool for mental health recovery. You’ll learn how to use mindfulness throughout the day, deep breathing techniques, and yoga.

Don’t quit your job due to mental health challenges! There are many options available to help you through this chapter of your life.

Mental Health Treatment Program Near Los Angeles in Agoura Hills & Westlake Village

Elevation Behavioral Health is a residential treatment center that provides evidence-based and holistic treatment to guide you back to wellness. To learn more about our program, please contact us today at (888) 561-0868

Our team of experts is here to help you.