Who's your perfect boss? The one that allows you to swap shifts last minute? The one that buys the first round? Or the one who is practically a mate?

It's 2017 and our understanding of mental health has progressed significantly, but unfortunately it's still a fair way from being treated on a par with physical well-being.

It's for that reason that many of us may be a little hesitant to take a day off when we're not quite feeling ourselves 100 percent - particularly when you're worried what your boss might think.

What we need is more managers like Ben Congleton. He's the big cheese at Olark Live Chat, where Madalyn Parker works.

Credit: PA

The web developer and engineer decided to take some time off for her emotional well-being, and wrote an email titled 'Where's Madalyn' to explain why she wouldn't be in for a couple of days.

"Hey team," she began. "I'm taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health. Hopefully I'll be back next week refreshed and back to 100 percent."

In a reply, CEO Mr Congleton couldn't have been more supportive.

"Hey Madalyn," he said. "I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this. Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health - I can't believe this is not standard practice at all organisations.

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

The response was well received by Madalyn, who claimed it reaffirmed her decision to take the time off work.

The tweet in which she posted the emails has had over 201 replies, 8,473 retweets and over 30,000 likes.



Ben has since expanded his thoughts beyond the email, in a Medium post titled: 'It's 2017 and Mental Health is still an issue in the workplace'.

"I had no idea my response would become so visible," he wrote. "The reactions revealed that my stance on mental health in the workplace is unconventional, to say the least.

"I started realising how impactful my email had been after I began reading some of the responses to Madalyn's tweet.

"Some of the responses brought tears to my eyes.

"There were so many stories of people wishing they worked at a place where their CEO cared about their health, and so many people congratulating me on doing such a good thing.

"This should be business as usual. We have a lot of work to do."

Credit: PA

Although advances are being made in accepting mental health, there is still a long way to go - but it should be standard practice that no prejudice is held against those who are dealing with mental health issues.

'U OK M8?' is an initiative from LADbible in partnership with a range of mental health charities which features a series of films and stories to raise awareness of mental health.

Explore more here and don't suffer in silence. Reach out. It's the brave thing to do.

MIND: 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans: 116 123.

CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.

Mental Health Foundation

Featured Image Credit: PA

Michael Minay

Mike Minay is a trending journalist at LADbible. He’s co-ordinated interviews with some of the big names from the world of news and sport including ITV’s Robert Peston, Sky Sports’ Jeff Stelling and darts champion Michael van Gerwen. His reporting days began on University radio in Birmingham, before moving to BBC Sport Online – creating content for large events such as Wimbledon and the FA Cup final. Mike still commentates on Football League matches at the weekend. A Manchester LAD at heart.

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp