Boss’ response to employee who took sick days for her mental health goes viral

Ben Congleton, managed to overcome depression, Mental disorder, Mental health, mental health problems, mental health struggles, Prince Harry,

Boss response to colleague                                                                                                                                                          Ben Congleton, CEO and co-founder of Olark (left) with Matt Pizzimenti, the company’s COO and co-founder

The topic of mental health has been in the spotlight this year with celebrities including Prince Harry advocating for more to be done to help those experiencing mental health problems. Unfortunately, in workplaces, mental health is still stigmatised, even though it is vital for employees to be mentally stable so that they can work well. However, it seems not all hope is lost, as web developer Madalyn Parker received an amazing response from her boss when she decided to take a sick day for her mental health.

Parker, who works for live chat software engineering company Olark, has been advocating for more supportive workplaces, having written an essay about the mental health struggles she has faced and how they have affected her career. After emailing her boss, Olark CEO Ben Congleton, to say that she needed to take a sick day for her mental health, he responded by saying:

“I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this. 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 organizations. You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work.”

Parker was so impressed with the response that she shared it, resulting in 9.5 thousand retweets and 32,000 likes. Most responses were praise for the CEO’s response; however, some also shared their experience of having to lie about taking a sick day for their mental health.

Hopefully this situation will encourage more companies to value their employees’ mental health.

We know the importance of good mental health, which is why we broadcast The Chrissy B Show on Sky 203. Hosted by Chrissy B, who herself managed to overcome depression, the shows focus on mental health issues people face every day, and gives practical advice on how to tackle them. With a range of experts and guests featured on the show to talk about their experience, The Chrissy B Show will leave you inspired.

The Chrissy B Show airs on Sky 203, ‘My Channel’, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10pm. There are also repeats on Mondays and Tuesdays at 11am and on Sundays at 3pm. If you would like more information, please call our 24-hr helpline on 020 7686 6000.


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