When one woman emailed her colleagues to tell them she was taking time off to focus on her mental health, her CEO responded in the best way.
Madalyn Rose, who works for Olark in the US, was so taken with his reply, she asked him if she could screenshot the email and share it.
Since then the exchange between Madalyn and her CEO, Ben Congleton, has been seen by thousands of people on Twitter.
In an article for Medium, Ben wrote a first-person account of what happened.
Last week a personal email I wrote was retweeted over 7,000 times, and liked by almost 30k people. I had friends reaching out to me stating that I was ‘blowing up on their Twitter feed’.
I wasn’t expecting the exposure, but I am so glad I was able to have such a positive impact on so many people.
This email was a reply to one of my teammates, Madalyn, who sent an email to our internal Olark OOTO listserv letting us know she was taking sick time for mental health.
It is incredibly hard to be honest about mental health in the typical workplace. In situations like this, it is so easy to tell your teammates you are ‘not feeling well’.
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 normalise mental health as a normal health issue.
Hundreds of responses were sent on Twitter with people praising the CEO, the company – and of course, Madalyn for being so open.
Ben said he ‘cannot believe’ it is still controversial to speak about mental health in the workplace.
As executives, we lead organisations made up of people who’ve come together to make an impact. Our job is to empower and motivate our teams to maximise the impact of our organisation for our customers, our employees, our shareholders, and the world.
It’s 2017. I cannot believe that it is still controversial to speak about mental health in the workplace when one in 6 six Americans are medicated for mental health.
It’s 2017. I cannot believe that it is still controversial to offer paid sick leave. Did you know that only 73% of full time employees in the US have paid sick leave?
What a hero!