CEO applauded for response to employee using sick days for mental health

CEO applauded for response to employee using sick days for mental health

Thankfully, social stigmas that accompany mental illness have begun to be frowned upon and mental health issues are being addressed frequently with more and more people coming to the forefront with their own personal conflicts.

Madalyn Parker is a web developer for Olark Live Chat.

Parker has revealed that she suffers from chronic anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder on Twitter and said she sometimes requires time off from work to cope with symptoms.

"I use (your email) 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", Congleton wrote.

So when she felt she needed a couple of days off for her mental health, she was honest about why she was taking a sick day with her team and the CEO of her company.

In a tweet last month she wrote, "Too distracted by my health (anxious, depressed, injured) to be effective at work".

At a time when employees are afraid of discussing it with co-workers and bosses, because they don't want to lose their jobs, damage relationships or risk future employers learning of illnesses and judging them, Madalyn went ahead and addressed it.

Congleton, the boss, said that as he read through the comments on the email chain, he started to get emotional. "I wanted to call this out and express gratitude for Madalyn's bravery in helping us normalize mental health as a normal health issue". With no time for extra-curricular activities to ease out the tension, a cloud of worry looms over most heads.

Parker shared screengrabs on Twitter, sending the email exchange viral (it's been retweeted 15,000 times, and counting, FYI) - and we couldn't be more thankful of this win for workplace wellbeing. It even earned her recognition from Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg. You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work. "This should be business as usual. This is not something new".

Employers should be supportive of a frank working environment and open about mental health.

"It's 2017. We are in a knowledge economy".

Congleton said he is happy to help push the discussion forward so that eventually a mental health day isn't something we feel we should have to whisper about.

Mental health problems are fairly common in the U.S. About one in 20 people over age 12 report suffering from depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Let's get rid of the idea that somehow the brain is different".