When Madalyn Parker, a web developer at Olark Live Chat, sent her boss an email telling him that she would be taking a mental health holiday the next day, she was surprised at his reply. Parker’s CEO, Ben Congleton, got back to her in the best way possible. “I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this,” he wrote. “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 bring our whole selves to work.”
Now, thanks to a post by Parker, Congleton’s answer is trending on Twitter.. Nearly 10,000 people have retweeted her latest tweet, and many are responding with their own stories—both positive and negative. And Parker has a more positive outlook, herself. She has written about her mental health and working before—but now she says she is comfortable with talking about it on the job, an idea that used to terrify her.