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This Employee Took Off Work for Mental Health Reasons, and Her Boss Thanked Her…

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An estimated 43.4 million American adults 18 and older were reported as being affected by mental illness in 2015, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. That’s a whopping 17.9 percent of the entire U.S. adult population.

Related: This Robot Therapist Talks to Patients Via Facebook

Companies across the country are beginning to recognize the importance of mental health care, including software company Olark.

Olark employee Madalyn Parker has struggled with anxiety and depression since her teens, she shared in a 2015 Medium post. When she needed to take a mental health day, all she had to do was notify her work.

Related: These 8 Companies Know the Impact of Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace

Last month, after sending an email to her co-workers and boss notifying them that she would be out for mental health reasons, Olark CEO Ben Congleton responded by not only encouraging that she take the time off to focus on herself, but thanking her for her openness and strength. “You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work,” he wrote in his email.

Parker shared her boss’s encouraging response on Twitter, which reviewed more than 14,000 retweets.


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