Most of us out there must have overheard that we should take a mental health seriously from time to time. However, the question is how many of us are daring enough to actually come forward and speak about it—and let our co-workers and boss be acquainted with the fact that mental health issues are sometimes the prime reason behind being out of office?
Well, Madalyn Parker, a web developer, did precisely the same in an email.
She wrote an email to her team letting them know she was taking two days off “to pay heedto my mental health”—and was stunned by the CEO’s retort.
Some were spiteful of the response:
I took a mental health afternoon at my last job and got passive aggressive documentation about the mental health coverage in our health plan
— Janie Clayton (@RedQueenCoder) July 1, 2017
Others didn’t comprehend why Parker decided to write an email—so she clarified why it’s significant to pay attention to your mental health and not shrink back from speaking about it:
But *vacations* are for mental health too. So then really what's difference btwn sick leave & vacation leave? Could be just 1 leave policy
— Andrew Cohen (@acohenNY) July 1, 2017
Having them separate helps me reason about them. I took an entire month off to do partial hospitalization last summer and that was sick…
— madalyn (@madalynrose) July 1, 2017
… leave. I still felt like I could use vacation time because I didn't use it and it's a separate concept.
— madalyn (@madalynrose) July 1, 2017
Agreed. "I want to go hang out with family" and "I need to separate from stressors" are quite different. I want my co to be like yours.
— Matt Olson (@carnivorous8008) July 1, 2017
Not sure about what's really important though. Personal (mental) health, or ability to work ?
— override lazy val (@ValentinKasas) June 30, 2017
Definitely health. 100%
— madalyn (@madalynrose) June 30, 2017
Anyway, they're connected. If you don't look after your mental health, you cannot work.
— GraveyDice #Resist (@GraveyDice) July 2, 2017
Ben Congleton, the CEO who responded, was so shocked by the inundation of support that he penned about it on Medium.
“I wasn’t anticipating the disclosure, but I am so glad I was able to have such an optimistic influence on so many people,” he penned on July 6.
“There were so many stories of people coveting they worked at a place where their CEO took an interest in their health, and so many people applauding me on doing such a virtuous thing,” he further adds:
Congleton has lately published an article written by Scientific American from December 2016, which throws light on the report that “just over one in 10 grown-ups testified taking medicament drugs to overcome issues with emotions, nerves or mental health,” tracking figures from a piece printed in JAMA Internal Medicine earlier that month.
A top emphasized quotation from Congleton’s Medium piece is “It’s 2017. We are in an understanding economy. Our professions necessitate us to perform at the top mental performance. When a sportsperson is wounded they sit on the seat and recuperate. Let’s chuck out the notion that someway the brain is different.”
It’s even more challenging for people of color to not only get mental health care but to even come forward to speak about it.
According to another report posted by HuffPost on October 2016, “As per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of Minority Health, it has been projected that black people are 10 % more expected to report having severe psychosomatic misery comparatively to white people. There’s a shame when it comes to black men coming forward and opening up about their mental health.”
They further add: “Despite being inexplicably impacted by mental health disorders, black men in America have to cope with a dearth of health care resources, a higher revelation to aspects that can cause increase in a mental health condition, a dearth of education about mental health and other factors that act as barricades to getting suitable support.”
That’s the reason why it’s so significant for people like Congleton and Parker to communicate openly about the necessity to take care of mental health.
“What if we discussed about physical health the bizarre way we bring up mental health?” ATTN: questioned in a video posted on May 26.
Parker penned about her preceding obstacles in sailing through a job while handling nervousness and depression, seeing, “I wrestle with illness. It is just same as flu would inhibit me from finishing my work, so do my melancholy and anxiety.”
Isn’t her point valid here? Mental and physical health is treated in a different way. As the video displays, you wouldn’t be able to tell whether someone with a broken leg or not, “it’s like you’re not even making an effort to walk.” Why do we do the same thing to people undergoing mental conditions?