A Mental Health Day Off?

So there’s a story that’s gone viral that I caught on Twitter today. Love it. Take a read;

Madalyn Park, a web developer from Olark, decided to share her CEO’s response to her request for some ‘mental health time off’ on Twitter. So there’s a few things that are great here. Firstly that this has been shared across the world as a great ‘this is how you should do it’ piece and secondly, it’s really not a big deal (how many of my blog posts features ‘it’s really not a big deal’ in them?) because as Ben Congleton, the CEO in question demonstrated;

It’s also worth noting that Olark as a company is probably based on hiring people who are great enough and mature enough to be open and honest about the day to day, as well as fostering a culture that encourages colleagues to be supportive of one another. I mean, I can’t imagine it being easy for some people to write that kind of request. Stigma and unsupportive workplaces are still rife.

I’ve taken a couple of ‘mental health’ days off before. It was fortunately when I was working in a place where my boss was incredibly supportive to the fact that he treated it like an almost ‘meh’ subject. I just got to the point where I had become so exhausted from all of the stuff going on in my head that I just needed to have a day or two to reset, get some sleep and look after myself. It wasn’t self-indulgent, even my therapist at the time said that the fact I took those days was putting my health first and I shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Because I did. But you know, what’s better? Going to work and being less productive because you have no energy left to complete anything successfully and further making yourself ill, or taking a bit of time out so that you and your boss is happier? No brainer.

I have worked in some places where I wouldn’t have felt comfortable enough to speak up, just because it really wouldn’t have been worth the bother. It shouldn’t be that way but it’s a sad state of affairs. Luckily, I currently work for a lovely company that I know would support anybody who had to take some time out for their mental health.

So employers and employees take note: be human, be bold, be brave. Happy human equals pleased as punch profits!