A Mindful Conversation
We have got to talk about all the buzz surrounding Madalyn Parker and the email she sent to her team at work. Madeline went on to say she'd be out of office for a few days to focus on her mental health. The response she received from her company's CEO has sparked a larger discussion about what is a rarely-talked topic in the workplace.
Parker, 26, lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She's a software developer or "empathy engineer" -- a title she chose for herself -- for Olark, a Michigan-based live-chat platform that helps businesses talk to customers. It has a staff of about 40. She suffers from chronic anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. And every now and then, she needs to take some time to focus on her well-being.
A few weeks ago, she sent an email to her team that said:
"Hey team, I'm taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health. Hopefully, I'll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%. Thanks Madalyn."
The next day, she opened her inbox to find a flood of response. But one that caught her eye was from company CEO Ben Congleton.
"I can't believe this is not a standard practice at all organizations," read part of his email. "You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work."
So, Parker posted the exchange online.
The boss, said that as he read through the comments on the email chain, he started to get emotional. He realized it was time to make an even bigger change.
Bravo to Madalyn, her boss, and everyone with an understanding heart.