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Everyone Who Needs a Mental Health Day Deserves a Reply Like This From Their Boss

Madalyn Parker, a web developer and engineer at Olark Live Chat, took a few days off for her mental health.

The CEO of the company replied to her email.

He set a new precedent for how a boss should respond when someone needs a mental health day.

“Hey team, I’m taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health. Hopefully I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%[.] Thanks[,] Madalyn”

“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 other importance of using sick days for mental health – I can’t believe this is a standard practice at all organizations. You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work.”

In a Medium post, Parker’s boss, Ben Congleton, reflected on the email exchange going viral.

“In situations like this, it is so easy to tell your teammates you are ‘not feeling well.’” -Ben Congleton,

“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 normalize mental health as a normal health issue.”

Kudos to Madalyn for being honest…

And her boss Ben for showing us how far compassion can go in the workplace.

Originally published: July 17, 2017
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