His response might surprise you.

July 11, 2017

Madalyn Parker, a web developer from Ann Arbor, Michigan, decided to take a few days of sick time from her job at the tech company Olark, and was completely transparent with her team about why. 

“Hey team,” she wrote in an email to her colleagues, “I’m taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health. Hopefully I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%.”

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While many people might be hesitant to be so transparent about taking time off from work for a non-communicable illness, the CEO of her company responded and praised her decision to take care of herself and put her mental health first.

“You are an example to us all,” he wrote, “and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work.”

Madalyn then posted the email exchange to her Twitter, where it now has more than 11 thousand retweets and more than 35 thousand likes.

Most of the responses were positive affirmations, and some people even shared stories from their own workplaces—both positive and negative—of times when they chose to reveal that they were taking time off from work for their mental health.

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While many people don’t feel the need to disclose their reason for taking a sick day, Madalyn wrote that she is specific with her colleagues so that others who might be uncomfortable will see it and realize that it is valid to use sick time for mental health.

Of course, you should always seek professional advice if you are struggling with persistent mental health issues. If you’re not sure what approach is right for you, check out the signs you might want to give therapy a try or download one of these apps to help reduce depression and anxiety.

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