Madalyn Parker is a Web developer who decided to take couple of days to focus on her mental health. She emailed her colleagues to inform them of her leave, then she was shocked by the reply her boss sent her and decided to share it.
‘I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this,’ he said.
‘Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health – I can’t believe this is not standard practice at all organisations.
‘You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can bring our whole selves to work.’ Rather than meeting her with skepticism and judgment, Parker’s CEO actually thanked her being honest and setting a good example to her coworkers.
Parker works in live chat software engineering company called Olark, she has been struggling with mental health problems few years ago. In 2015, she writes a strong essay on how mental issues can affect a professional career. Many companies denounce depression, anxiety and other mental disorders, despite knowing that peak mental performance is necessary to these kinds of jobs. She says she is comfortable with talking about it now, but the idea used to terrify her.
The email exchange has since been retweeted almost 12,000 times and liked 36,541. People are praising Parker’s decision to be honest about the reason behind her absence, rather than hiding behind the standard “sick day” or “vacation day.” While this may seem meaningless, her simple choice of words helps to make it comfortable and easy to talk about mental health in the workplace and break the stigma surrounding it; an effort that’s increasingly important as the line between work and play continues to blur into nonexistence.
Congleton and his touching message have gone viral, and people have pretty much unanimously decided that every boss should be like him. Find out what he said below, and let us know how your boss would handle this situation in the comments!
“I wasn’t expecting the exposure, but I am so glad I was able to have such a positive impact on so many people,” Congleton even wrote a post on Medium to elaborate on his thoughts. “It is incredibly hard to be honest about mental health in the typical workplace. In situations like this, it is so easy to tell your teammates you are ‘not feeling well,'” Congleton writes. “I wanted to call this out and express gratitude for Madalyn’s bravery in helping us normalize mental health as a normal health issue.”