Web developer Madalyn Parker decided to explain her absence from work with a short and simple message to colleagues
A manager’s response to his employee who said she was taking two days off to focus on her mental health has gone viral.
Madalyn Parker, a web developer and engineer at Olark Live Chat, decided to explain her absence from work with a short and simple message to colleagues.
In an email entitled ‘Where’s Madalyn?’, she wrote: “I’m taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health.
“Hopefully I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%.”
But it was the CEO of her company’s sympathetic response that really shocked social media users.
“I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this,” Ben Congleton 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.”
Madalyn, of Ann Arbor in Michigan, America. posted the correspondence to Twitter and it received more than 10,000 re-tweets.
Responding to all the attention in a Medium blog post , Ben wrote: “I wasn’t expecting the exposure, but I am so glad I was able to have such a positive impact on so many people.
“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’.
“Even in the safest environment it is still uncommon to be direct with your coworkers about mental health issues.
“I wanted to call this out and express gratitude for Madalyn’s bravery in helping us normalise mental health as a normal health issue.
“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.”