You may have noticed Ryley was absent from his show the other day. The reason he wasn’t driving you home as per usual was a pretty important one: his partner is going through the process of changing antidepressants, and he needed to take the day to care for her and be with her.

For us here at Fresh, it was a no-brainer. If Ryley had called us and told us his partner had broken a limb he needed to take care of her, we would have given him the day off and found cover. This, to us, was no different – and we didn’t think of it as a big deal. However, when Ryley put up a post on his Facebook page explaining why he was away, the response from listeners proved that this was, in fact, a big deal:

“It just opened up… this comfort for other people to share,” he said of people’s reaction to this story. “It doesn’t feel like a big deal; I kind of wish people would do it more.”

However, taking the day off to care for your mental health is something a lot of people can’t, or don’t want to do. Those people were really appreciative of Ryley’s post, so we decided to take it a step further and get him on Wavelength with Zane and Loz for a chat about why it’s so important for workplaces to recognise mental health days. We’re hoping that by using our platform to talk about this, it will help normalise and break down the stigma around mental health days for others. Listen to the full interview below:

If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health issues, please contact headspace, our national youth mental health service at 1800 650 890, or call Lifeline: 13 11 14.