After finishing college, Madalyn Parker landed her dream job as a web developer. The young woman from Ann Arbor, Michigan, spoke openly to her colleagues about how she suffered from anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.
Officially sick so it’s motherfucking tea time pic.twitter.com/E8Ntg6Mqfn
— madalyn (@madalynrose) September 5, 2016
This is how she described her depressive episodes, “I feel useless and listless. All I have energy and motivation to do is sleep. I can easily sleep over 18 hours a day. Some days I knock things out of the park; I make it to work, get tons done, help others, etc. Most days I feel like a waste of space.”
One day she had to email in sick because of her illness. The CEO of the IT company, Ben Congleton, left her and others stunned with his response:
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
Now that truly is a boss who cares about the welfare of his employees!
Grabbed some plants for the bunnies to eat out of someone’s yard on my walk home from DQ.
I ❤️ my weed bouquet
Also Michigan summer pic.twitter.com/bSgyb5E0QC
— madalyn (@madalynrose) June 5, 2017
Since the Michigander posted her boss’s email on Twitter, Congleton has received much praise from users and people affected by psychological issues for his sympathetic and supportive approach to mental health problems.
However, Congleton feels that this shouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary. “There were so many stories of people wishing they worked at a place where their CEO cared about their health,” Madalyn’s boss said. “It’s 2017. Our jobs require us to execute at peak mental performance. 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.”
I lost my best friend just about a month ago. I’m pretty sure she’s the only reason I made it through college. pic.twitter.com/q9AMe4HUDo
— madalyn (@madalynrose) July 11, 2017
In a time when one in six Americans are medicated for mental health, there should be no more excuses for refusing to break this taboo. By talking about issues openly, people like Madalyn Parker are showing that it’s fine to say you’re not feeling okay.