When a web developer felt like she needed a bit of a break from work for the sake of her mental well-being, she sent a message to her colleagues explaining that she’d be taking a mental health day. And while many bosses might haven taken that as an opportunity to lecture about company policy or the “proper use” of sick days, her boss did just the opposite. And his response has since gone viral.
Madalyn Parker works works for Olark, a live video chat software company based in Michigan, and is no stranger to the challenges of overcoming mental health issues at work, an issue she’s written about before. Realizing she needed some time to herself and knowing that she worked for a company that supported mental health days, she sent a note to her coworkers giving them a heads-up. When Parker and the rest of her team got the CEO’s reply, she took it upon herself to share it with the world via Twitter.
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
Is that how your boss would react to such a situation? Along with over 10,000 retweets and 33,000 likes, the Twitterverse also gave Parker plenty of examples of similar situations in other workplaces that didn’t play out quite the same.
Any jobs going where you work? So rare. I left a mental health charity once bc HR wanted to know in advance when I’d have a panic attack
— mollywallop (@mollywallop) July 6, 2017
This is amazing. Not the response I got at all – most workplaces still have a lot of growing up to do when it comes to mental health 🙁
— Evelyn Clegg (@Evie_tweeting) July 1, 2017
We charge more for work that uses the brain than the muscles, but we spend so much more time safeguarding physical rather than mental health
— Akilesh R (@akilesh_r) July 2, 2017
Considering that, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 20 per cent of Canadians will experience mental illness, you’d think that this would be a priority for all businesses. Alas, not all CEOs are as progressive as Parker’s, who has since gone on to pen his own essay on the topic.
Plenty of people were still willing to celebrate Parker’s and Olark’s win, though, happy that this type of progress is being made somewhere, at least.
Had to do a double take to realize your boss and your company are so awesome! I wish at least half the companies on the planet were as nice
— The Zooter (@BluntBong) July 6, 2017
That’s a good CEO. You’re a lucky person to have a cool leadership group
— Jamie McCarty (@JamieMcCarty) July 2, 2017
This is the kind of treatment employees everywhere should be given, and there’s at least one CEO that thinks it’s not too much to ask.