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This CEO had the perfect response to his employee’s mental health day

'This should be business as usual.'


Monica Riese


Posted on Jul 11, 2017   Updated on May 23, 2021, 12:13 am CDT

It’s easy to tell a little white lie and say you’re battling a stomach bug rather than admit you’re too hungover to come into work, but one woman on Twitter is getting a ton of support for coming clean about a perfectly normal reason to miss a day or two: She needed a mental health break.

“I’m taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health,” web developer Madalyn Parker wrote to her team on June 29. “Hopefully I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%.”

A self-proclaimed mental health advocate who’s tweeted openly about combating anxiety, Parker had had a rough week:

But it was her boss’s reply that really turned heads:

When Parker tweeted CEO Ben Congleton’s thoughtful reply to her out-of-office message, thousands of people noticed, and as many or more had horror stories to share about bosses who would never in a million years recognize mental health as health. But for Congleton’s part, he was just doing what he thought was right. “This should be business as usual,” he later wrote in a Medium post on the viral email exchange.

Congleton and Parker work together at Olark, a company which has publicly posted about how much it values a “sustainable hustle.” But the two individuals have used their week in the spotlight to help further efforts to make mental health a priority in more workplaces than just their own, tweeting out resources and calling on the industry to normalize conversations about mental health at work. “When an athlete is injured they sit on the bench and recover. Let’s get rid of the idea that somehow the brain is different,” Congleton wrote.

Or, simply put:

If you are a teen dealing with depression or other mental health issues, see for a list of resources and organizations that can help you. If you are an adult, see Mental Health Resources.

H/T Mashable

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*First Published: Jul 11, 2017, 3:00 pm CDT