A Michigan woman who suffers from depression emailed her team at work informing them that she would be taking days off to focus on her mental health and well-being, and her boss’ response has gained much attention online.
Madalyn Parker, a web developer at Olark Live Chat, took to Twitter to post a screenshot of her email communication with her co-workers and a supervisor.
In an email titled “Where’s Madalyn?” Parker told her team she’d be taking off two days to renew her mental health.
“Hopefully, I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%,” she wrote.
Parker was surprised and delighted by one of the responses she received. She asked the sender if she could post a screenshot of the reply, and he told her yes.
“Hey Madalyn, I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this. Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health,” Ben Cogleton, the CEO of Olark wrote. “I can’t believe this is not a standard practice at all organizations.”
He continued: “You are an example to us all and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work.”
Parker’s post of the conversation garnered more than 34,000 likes on Twitter and sparked conversations about companies’ obligation to provide mental health days.
“It’s 2017. I cannot believe that it is still controversial to speak about mental health in the workplace when 1 in 6 Americans are medicated for mental health,” Cogleton wrote in a blog post. “We are in a knowledge economy. Our jobs require us to execute at peak mental performance. When an athlete is injured they sit on the bench and recover. Let’s get rid of the idea that somehow the brain is different.”