When many people “of a certain age” entered the workforce, so-called “mental health days” were sort of cheat, sometimes one just needed to call in sick, and deal with whatever was happening out of the office. 

Now many companies are officially recognizing the need and offering mental health days — for real, according to The Wall Street Journal

“More companies are carving out extra personal days for workers, not for a doctor’s appointment or to run errands, but because of stressful events outside of the workplace.The decision to offer these types of personal days is one of several moves company executives say they are making to address concerns about employees’ mental health. They are also offering companywide mental-health days and on-site respite rooms. The moves reflect executives’ belief that addressing mental health directly with their workers is a crucial way to retain and attract the best employees in a tight labor market.”

“Mental health is the workplace crisis of our time,” said Lynee Luque, NerdWallet’s chief people officer. “We don’t feel that taking care of mental health is something that should just be lumped in with PTO or sick days.”

“Employees at NerdWallet, a personal-finance company, get unlimited paid time off, eight hours per quarter of paid time to do volunteer work and a five-week sabbatical after five years on the job. Executives were concerned it isn’t enough,” said Ms. Luque.

“Employees are looking for jobs that support their mental-health needs at record levels,” said Jennifer Moss, a consultant who works with Fortune 500 companies and others to help them define their workplace culture and author of a book on burnout.