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After she asked for a day off for her mental health, a screenshot of her boss's response went viral

Madalyn Parker wanted to take a few days off from work. She didn't have the flu, nor did she plan on sipping mojitos under a palm tree on a beach somewhere.

Parker, a web developer from Michigan, wanted to take a few days off from work to focus on her mental health.

Parker suffers from depression and she says it is absolutely crucial to keep her mental health under control.

“The bottom line is that mental health Is “My depression prevents me from being productive at work, just as a broken hand would slow me down because I wouldn't be able to type as well.”

Photo courtesy of Madalyn Parker.

Madalyn Parker was honest with her colleagues about her situation.

She sent an email to her colleagues and honestly told them why she was taking time off.

“Hopefully,” she wrote to them, “I will be recovered and back to 100% next week.”

Shortly after the message was sent, the CEO of Parker’s company wrote back:

“Hey Madalyn,

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 isn't common practice in all organizations. You are setting an example for all of us and helping to break the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work.”

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“When the CEO responds to your absence email regarding mental health sick leave and reaffirms your decision. 💯”

Parker was moved by her CEO's response and posted the email exchange on Twitter.

The tweet, posted on June 30, 2017, has since gone viral, garnering 45,000 likes and 16,000 retweets.

“It's nice to see warm, comfortable feelings on the internet for once,” says Parker about the reaction to her tweet. “I was absolutely overwhelmed by the magnitude. I didn't expect so much attention!”

Even more impressive than the reach of the tweet, however, were the warm reactions it provoked.

“Thank you for giving me hope that I can find a job in my current form,” wrote one personwho talked about his life with panic attacks. “It’s damn unbelievable,” someone else intervened. “What a fantastic CEO you have.”

However, some users questioned why there had to be a difference between vacation and sick days; after all, someone askedIsn’t the purpose of vacation to improve our mental well-being?

This ignores an important difference, says Parker – both in the perception of sick leave and vacation days and in the way in which this time spent away from work is Strictly speaking be issued.

“I took a whole month off last summer to do part-time medical treatment, and that was sick leave,” she said. wrote “I still felt like I could take vacation because I didn't take it and it's a separate concept.”

Many users were amazed that a CEO showed so much understanding for an employee's mental health needs.

They were even more surprised that the CEO thanked She shared her personal experiences of taking care of her mental health with us.

Finally, there is still a lot of stigma attached to mental illness in the workplace, which prevents many of us from speaking up with our colleagues when we need help or need a break to focus on ourselves. We fear being seen as “weak” or less committed to work. We may even be afraid of losing our jobs.

Ben Congleton, CEO of Parker's company Olark, even joined the conversation himself.

In a blog post on Medium, Congleton wrote about the need for more business leaders to prioritize paid sick leave, fight the stigma of mental illness in the workplace, and engage their employees as People First.

“It's 2017. We live in a knowledge economy. Our work requires us to be at our best mentally,” Congleton wrote. “When an athlete is injured, he sits on the bench and recovers. We should let go of the idea that the brain is somehow different.”

This article originally appeared on 07.11.17