How Mental Health Days Increase Productivity of Interns

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By Tony Vercher

Why Taking Mental Health Days are so Important

In America, the rate of people who suffer from severe mental distress is rising. Around 8.3 million adults suffer each day, and the number continues to grow. To combat the rise of mental illness, it’s not uncommon for employees to take mental health days for themselves, especially during particularly difficult times. For those who don’t know, a mental health day is exactly what it sounds like; a day off that’s focused on the person relaxing for their psychological wellness. Some might say that mental wellness days are unnecessary. However, this has been debunked by recent studies. These state that taking breaks are not only recommended but are necessary for people. Days off committed to mental healing can be beneficial, not only for the interns but for the businesses they work for in the long run.

Most Interns Do More Than Just Their Internship

Many, if not all interns, complete internships so they can get experience and start in their field. However, their internship isn’t the only thing in their lives. Many interns are still in school, have a job, or even juggle both at the same time. So much on one’s plate can wear down on someone after a while. Despite the stress and added work, an intern’s job is always to create quality work for their business. However, they can’t reach an acceptable level of quality if they’re under strain all the time.

Mental Health Doesn’t Just Affect the Brain

A person’s mental health doesn’t just mess with their mind; it also affects the body. Impaired mental health starts a chain reaction through the body that could have severe consequences down the line.

For many, stress is a big part of their day. The problems begin with a strong feeling of fatigue and exhaustion. Not taking breaks and adding to that stress can put a strain not only on your mind but also your body. Intense stress and depression can lead to a 53% increase in cardiovascular diseases, like heart attacks or stroke. Stress also causes your immune system to become compromised and can pave the road for an abundance of other ailments. Being stressed affects a person’s sleep as well, which only continues the domino effect of problems.

The lack of sleep also adds to the cycle of depression and anxiety. Not sleeping increases a person’s chances to get diabetes and heart disease as well. Over time, not sleeping chips away at a person’s central nervous system and immune system. This means the body isn’t doing its job of fighting off diseases nor is it sending signals to the brain as effectively, preventing it from functioning as it should. Cancer remains the evil villain of diseases that fatigue causes. Taking a day off doesn’t seem so bad in the long run, does it?

How Will Taking a Day for Mental Health Make an Intern’s Work Better?

Virtual interns commit to a set amount of hours each week and stay available and working most days. However, life happens. Stress pressing down on them could make an intern’s job challenging to manage or do. Poor mental health caused by stress can affect one’s performance and quality of work.  Working for long hours and days at a time can lower a person’s brain function and productivity, causing them to spend long hours creating blasé and low-quality work. An intern will be little good to a business if they’re down for the count because they’re overextended or sick. Taking the time to have a mental health day gives the brain and body a day of much-needed rest. The mental health day allows your workers to bounce back from that stress-induced rut and gives them the boost of energy they need to create quality content and work for your business!

Stress On the Rise

Perhaps if we talk about mental health in an accepting setting, people won’t feel guilty about taking that day off for themselves. We promote and urge employees and employers to discuss psychological health regularly, so everyone feels comfortable taking the time they need.

If you, an employee, or one of your interns feel suicidal or needs help, call a suicide hotline now. For less extreme issues many methods of therapy exist, including psychotherapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and more. Getting help in stressful situations is the first step to recovery. All you have to do is lift your foot.

Helpful links:
I need an internship
I need an intern
Suicide Hotline
Trevor Hotline