Taking care of your mental heath is extremely important, yet few will openly admit to needing to do just that.
In an effort to break this trend, Madalyn Parker decided to publicly confront the issue head-on. According to USA Today, Parker, who suffers from chronic depression and anxiety, sent an email to her coworkers saying that she was going to use her two sick days to focus on her mental health. Her goal, she explained, was to inspire her peers to feel comfortable to do the same.
"Too distracted by my health (anxious, depressed, injured) to be effective at work," she later shared to her Twitter. "Too worried about my work to be effective at self care."
But what came as an even more unexpected win for raising awareness was an encouraging email penned by the boss himself.
"I just wanted to thank you for personally sending emails like this," he wrote to Parker. "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 standard practice at all organizations. You are an example to us all and help break through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work."
Parker posted the emails to Twitter, and the conversation has since gone viral. People have been so inspired her the story that they've even taken to sharing their own testimonies online.
"I'm going to have to start job hunting soon, and I'm mentally ill and have panic attacks," one user commented on Parker's post. "Thanks for giving me hope that I can find a job as I am."
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders (which are closely linked to depression) are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, but only about one-third of those suffering receive care.
If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health issues, make sure to consult a doctor and take some needed rest so you can get back to being your happiest and most productive self.
h/t Fox 59