Woman Requests Time Off for “Mental Health”—CEO’s Response Leaves Internet Cheering

“Hey Team, I’m taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health…”

We’ve all done it—you use a sick day to take a day off work simply for mental health. You don’t need to go to the doctor, you’re not feeling sick, but in order to perform at the capacity expected of you, sometimes you just need an extra day off—to mentally be able to function.

That’s exactly what Madalyn Parker did last week.

The web developer from Ann Arbor, Michigan, sent the following email to her team, letting them know she was taking a couple of days to “refresh.”

Her decision to take time to focus on her mental health is inspiring. But it’s the response she got from Ben Congleton, her company’s CEO, that has the Internet cheering.


He responded:

“Hey Madalyn,

I just want 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.”


Madalyn tweeted a picture of the email exchange, and the Internet went nuts! Her tweet quickly went viral.


Some questioned why she even sent the email in the first place—to which Madalyn gracefully explained the difference between sick days for mental health, and vacation days for fun.

But most were super encouraging—applauding her for her courage, praising Ben Congleton for his response, and sharing their desires for all companies and establishments to recognize mental health in a similar way!

Shout out to Madalyn for breaking through the stigma, and all the praise to Ben the way he runs Olark, for getting on board!

Bri Lamm
Bri is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure. She lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese in between capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras.

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