A woman's tweet about an exchange with her boss about taking a mental health day has gone viral and has now started a conversation about the acceptance of doing so at the work place.
Madalyn Parker, a web developer from Michigan, requested the day off by sending her boss an email saying:
“Hey team, I am taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health. Hopefully I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100 percent.”
Her boss responded positively while appreciating her honesty and stressing the importance of staying mentally sharp -- much to the surprise of many twitter followers -- as many couldn't believe a CEO would be that understanding of an employee's mental health needs.
"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."
Parker tweeted about the exchange after gaining her boss' permission, and has received tens of thousands of likes and thousands of retweets in support.
Ben Congleton, the CEO who replied to Parker's email, was so shocked by the response that he eventually wrote an essay about it.
You can read the full exchange below:
“Ben, our CEO, emailed me back and just thanked me for speaking up and for being an example so others might feel safe taking time off for themselves if they need it,” she explained.
When the CEO responds to your out of the office email about taking sick leave for mental health and reaffirms your decision. 💯 pic.twitter.com/6BvJVCJJFq— madalyn (@madalynrose) June 30, 2017
According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, one in five adults in the US experiences metal illness every year.
This year World Mental Health Day is Tuesday, Oct. 10.
To find out more about early warning signs and other mental health issues, click here.