Madalyn Parker recently made headlines when she sent an email to her colleagues saying she would be taking two days off to address her mental health. Her CEO responded by thanking her for reducing the stigma surrounding mental health. She tweeted his positive response and the story went viral. Clearly, not all bosses encourage employees to take mental health days. And many employees wonder if a mental health day is the same as "playing hooky."
An American tragedy: a dedicated worker so overwhelmed with her job that she needs to take some time out of the workplace to feel better or to focus on something other than work. Guilty feelings arise from not being at the office. Her mind can't focus on her personal life due to the huge pile of work waiting back in the office.
An American hero: a supervisor that not only approves an employee's time off to recharge their internal batteries, but also lets that employee know that they matter as a person.
The supervisor wrote more about his choice here.
For what it's worth:
An employee would not need to "play hooky" if they were happy with their job. More importantly, they would feel no guilt in taking time off if management viewed them as a person with feelings and a life outside of the workplace.
This article is inspiring. Since it's gone viral, it gives me hope that management across the nation would read this, reevaluate how they are running their workplace, and make change for the better.