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.
When the CEO responds to your out of the office email about taking sick leave for mental health and reaffirms your decision. ? pic.twitter.com/6BvJVCJJFq
— madalyn (@madalynrose) June 30, 2017
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.
Any jobs going where you work? So rare. I left a mental health charity once bc HR wanted to know in advance when I'd have a panic attack
— mollywallop (@mollywallop) July 6, 2017
Had to do a double take to realize your boss and your company are so awesome! I wish at least half the companies on the planet were as nice
— The Zooter (@BluntBong) July 6, 2017
That's absolutely awesome. CEOs like that are why people stay at companies, because they feel valued
— InsideLaurasHeadBlog (@InsdeLaurasHead) July 2, 2017
Ben sounds like a pretty rad boss.
— Erick Sanchez (@erickmsanchez) July 11, 2017
This is amazing. Not the response I got at all – most workplaces still have a lot of growing up to do when it comes to mental health :(
— Evelyn Clegg (@Evie_tweeting) July 1, 2017
That is bloody incredible. What a fantastic CEO you have. I hope one day to work with a business with exactly this attitude.
— John Kearney (@JK1440) July 1, 2017
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!