CEO's response to employee taking mental health days triggers national dialogue

Amos Gonzales
July 14, 2017

So when she felt she needed a couple of days off for her mental health, she was honest about why she was taking a sick day with her team and the CEO of her company.

When the CEO responds to your out of the office email about taking sick leave for mental health and reaffirms your decision.

Surveys by the American Psychological Association's Center for Organizational Effectiveness show that less than half of Americans (44 percent) say they believe the climate in their organization supports well-being, and that almost 20 percent of employees say the challenges of their jobs were harder to handle in the past month due to mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.

"You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work", the email concluded.

"I just wanted to personally thank you for sending e-mails like this", Congleton wrote. 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 in all organisations.

Many who read Parker's post said they weren't as lucky to have an understanding boss.

73% Indians have faith in Narendra Modi government
Russian Federation and Germany rounded off the top 5, with confidence levels at 58 per cent and 55 per cent respectively. However, there is a lot of time between then and now, and a lot can happen in that time.

In an interview, Congleton said, "I think the biggest lesson to take away from this really is that mental health is health and that mental illness is a big deal". In fact, she announced it to her co-workers in an email.

Thankfully, social stigmas that accompany mental illness have begun to be frowned upon and mental health issues are being addressed frequently with more and more people coming to the forefront with their own personal conflicts. It even earned her recognition from Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg. "Thankful to Madalyn for being so open - it's not an easy thing to do". For employers, says the center's director, David Ballard, "the costs of untreated mental health issues, the lost productivity, is actually more costly than the treatment side because people are there at work but not functioning to full capacity". "This should be business as usual. This is not something new". Studies have shown that mental health issues such as depression and mental illnesses had the third-highest annual per-employee costs from lost productivity while at work, up there with arthritis, hypertension, allergy, headaches and diabetes.

The National Institute of Mental Health, in a study in 2015, found that an estimated 16.1 million adults in the United States experienced a major depressive episode in the previous year.

"It's 2017. We are in a knowledge economy".

One commenter wrote: "I took a mental health afternoon at my last job and got passive aggressive documentation about the mental health coverage in our health plan". "Let's get rid of the idea that somehow the brain is different." he expressed his feelings.

Other reports by BadHub

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