At work recently, she sent in a message saying she had to take a couple days off. More specifically, she had mental health issues to deal with, and didn't hide that fact. Instead, she was very open about why she needed the time off.
There are some bosses who scoff at the idea of needing time off for "mental health." But that was not the case with Madalyn's boss, Ben Congleton. Instead, he thanked her for being honest and trying to remove the stigma of mental health issues.
Needless to say, Madalyn was grateful for her boss's empathetic response. "Would you mind if I screenshot it and shared on Twitter?" she asked. "It's kind of a big deal that the CEO is so supportive of my mental health."
Ben gave his permission, and Madalyn posted the messages on Twitter. It turned out that she wasn't the only one appreciative of Ben's understanding of mental health issues. Thousands of others who saw the tweet appreciated it as well.
Madalyn's tweet with the messages between her and Ben received over 13,000 retweets and over 39,000 likes. And there were a lot of replies from people glad that Madalyn works for a company that understands mental health issues. Some even wondered if the company is hiring.
In response, Madalyn said she mentioned the days for mental health reason to show that it can be okay to talk about it. She also said it's perfectly fine if someone doesn't want to tell their work about any mental health issues. "Everyone is absolutely entitled to their privacy!" she said.
Another Twitter user asked if she should just use vacation days, since vacations are also for mental health. Madalyn explained that she used sick days because they are separate concepts. Another Twitter user added, "You wouldn‘t take holiday leave because you‘ve got flu."
This Twitter user was on the job market, but didn't ask Madalyn if her company was hiring. But her message did give her hope that there are other companies just as understanding about mental health. Although there are still companies that don't seem to get it.
Some people reported how their own companies have dealt with mental health issues. This Twitter user said her boss didn't even think her issue was real. Fortunately people like Ben at other companies are more understanding.
After Madalyn's tweet went viral, Ben wanted to explain more about his company's attitude towards mental health. So he wrote a post about it on Medium. He said he when he agreed to let her tweet the message, he didn't expect to receive this kind of attention.
Ben said when he looked at the Twitter thread, "Some of the responses brought tears to my eyes." He added that, "It’s 2017. I cannot believe that it is still controversial to speak about mental health in the workplace when 1 in 6 Americans are medicated for mental health."