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    A Woman's Boss Had The Most Perfect Response When She Asked For A "Mental Health Day"

    Mental health IS health.

    This is Madalyn Parker. She's an engineer at Olark, a live chat platform service based in Palo Alto, California.

    Madalyn Parker

    This week, Parker shared an exchange she had with her boss, Ben Congleton, after she informed him that she'd be taking a "mental health day."

    When the CEO responds to your out of the office email about taking sick leave for mental health and reaffirms your…

    Olark CEO Ben Congleton responded to Parker's email by writing:

    "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."

    Congleton's spot-on compassionate response drew tons of support from folks on Twitter, and blew Parker away. Her tweet has been retweeted nearly 12,000 times.

    Madayln Parker

    "Oh my goodness I am absolutely floored by how viral this has gone!" Parker told BuzzFeed. "I'm really really happy that we're raising awareness and normalizing mental illness. We need to squash the stigma!"

    Some wondered why Parker felt the need to specify that she was taking a "mental health" day, but as she explained:

    And Parker shared that self-care really is one of Olark's core values.

    After Parker shared her story, some began sharing their positive mental health experiences at work...

    @madalynrose @chowspecial Once IMed my boss: Me: Gotta go. Panic attack. Boss: omg. Go. Whiskey in the supply room if you need it.

    ...and their not-so-positive stories.

    @madalynrose Any jobs going where you work? So rare. I left a mental health charity once bc HR wanted to know in ad…

    Others just expressed how much hope Parker's story had given them.

    @madalynrose @plasmagicas I'm gonna have to start job hunting soon and I'm mentally ill & have panic attacks. Thank…

    Floored by the response, Congleton penned an essay on Medium about why bosses should care about the mental health of their employees.


    "It’s 2017. We are in a knowledge economy. Our jobs require us to execute at peak mental performance," he wrote. "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."

    Parker hopes that by sharing her story, she'll help decrease the stigma around mental health, even just a little bit.

    Madalyn Parker

    "I wish more people understood that mental health *is* health! You wouldn’t be expected to crank out code if you were vomiting so much you couldn’t eat or sleep," she said. "Just because your symptoms are mental does not make them invalid."