Press / Collaboration

What exactly is #iamtakingamentalhealthday?

#iamtakingamentalhealthday #IATAMHD

A social change campaign designed to encourage and support all workers and tertiary students with information and tools to speak up and share when they are taking a mental health day knowing it is safe to do so. Can you envision a community where all people are safe to share when they are taking mental health days, and workplaces and educational institutions are mentally healthy safe spaces free of stigma and discrimination?

Curated Resources

I’ve spent countless hours discerning the latest information by scouring the Internet for the very best resources so you don’t have to. I trust you will find this information adds to your experience in a positive way.


One of the features of the website and campaign is guided journaling with question prompts and self-care check-in. Some of the short and long-term health benefits of putting pen to paper are; reduced stress, strengthened emotional functions, boosts in mood and improved cognitive processing. Use a journal as a reflective tool to help you unpack your feelings, your experiences and email these to yourself to help you better your mental health and gain insight into your particular mental health day experiences.

How did this social change campaign come about?

Becoming a mental health advocate can include big and small actions—it all matters!

I am Brendan O’Keefe and I am your mental health day advocate. Feel free to reach out anytime. hello[at]

I am a versatilist with over 20 years in creative roles in music, fashion, community services, web development, eLearning and digital media.

Please note: I created this concept and website. The campaign is independent and not affiliated with any organisation. This is a personal passion project and is in no way affiliated with my employer.

In late 2018 and in early in 2019 I found things a little overwhelming as I had numerous other times in my life. I took the opportunity to speak with an EAP provider numerous times.

You don’t need a diagnosed mental illness to feel the need to take a mental health day, it can simply stem from stress, relationship problems, burn out, bullying and numerous other factors that impact our ability to function optimally.

One day I posted the hashtag #iamtakingamentalhealthday in our organisation Slack channel where we notify the team of our daily goings-on and absences.

The concept for this website and campaign came to me a short while later while on holiday in Malaysia with my daughter in October 2019.

I immediately thought to look online for a variety of mental health day hashtags and stories. I was shocked at how little there was out there.

I thought that there would be some power in promoting the use of hashtags which encourage disclosure and support for those taking mental health days.

Use these hashtags to show support, disclose your mental health day/self-care day and show support for others taking these days.#iamtakingamentalhealthday.#iatamhd @itookatmentalhealthday #ineedamentalhealthday #selfcareissmart #isupportamentalhealthday #wesupportamentalhealthday 

The basis of the website is a set of questionnaires in a journal format based on past, present and future mental health days.

Along with these tools to empower individuals are these hashtags, branded apparel, useful resources and a means for individuals to share their stories, support each other, and break the stigma.

For organisations to declare that they consider themselves as mentally healthy organisations that support mental health days. #wesupportmentalhealthdays Check out all the ways you can get involved in this social change campaign.

Can I interview the founder?

I’d be happy to consider your request. hello[at]

Founder Brendan O'Keefe's bio

I’ve been a maker of digital media since before the Internet. I spent a slightly misspent youth as a pop star, songwriter, graphic designer, fashion assistant, youth worker, web developer, online community manager, and perfumer. I’m married to Narvi and we have two children. I live to love and I love to live. This makes me a curious lifelong learner, curator, creator and maker of many things. It’s in my blood.

I’ve lived a colourful life and had my fair share of ups and downs, crisis, heartbreak, and incredible career maneuvers. After my father who had a diagnosed mental illness and struggled in many ways in his later part of life died, I looked for something that I could dedicate my later life to That something was mental health advocacy.

My personal experience with mental health days and continued dedication to mental health advocacy is what prompted this mental health day campaign and website.

What is the purpose of this movement?

Why lie about taking a mental health day? Why can’t we admit we are in a vulnerable place? In this day and age, I say shame on those individuals and workplace cultures which stifle the opportunity to be truthful. Let’s change this. Vulnerability is a superpower. Provide information and tools to empower individuals to take a mental health day without the fear of stigma or lack of support. Share hashtags to help bring light to the cause, support others and help break the stigma around mental health. Encourage all workplaces, educational institutions and schools to declare their mental health policy of acceptance of mental health days, and their workplaces are mentally healthy safe places free of stigma and discrimination.

How can my organisation show support?

Declare your support via your social media channels and marketing efforts. Use the hashtag #wesupportmentalhealthdays

Where can I find statistics related to this movement?

2019 Indicators of a Thriving Workplace National Survey Download here 2019 Tackling a Global Mental Health Crisis in the Workplace Download here 2019 Mental health in Australia Challenges and opportunities Download here

Let's collaborate

If you would like to collaborate with a blog post, interview, research, social media campaign or something else productive then do get in touch. I’m open.  Brendan


Use some of the hashtags to share your experiences, connect with and support others going through mental health day experiences. Hashtags can also help to eliminate mental health stigma in the community and in workplaces.



Brendan O’Keefe hello[at] What’s App