Exemplar: Mental Health Day at the Office

We’ve all heard that we should take a mental health day from time to time, but how many of us are brave enough to actually take one—and let our coworkers and boss know that mental health issues may be the reason for being out of office?

empty desksEFLON/FLICKR – FLIC.KR

Well, Madalyn Parker, a web developer, did exactly that in an email.

She sent an email to her team letting them know she was taking two days off “to focus on my mental health”—and was shocked by the CEO’s response.

She tweeted the email exchange, where it has over 30,000 likes and 8,400 retweets.

MADALYN PARKER/TWITTER – TWITTER.COM

Ben Congleton, the CEO who replied, was so stunned by the outpouring of support that he wrote about it on Medium.

“I wasn’t expecting the exposure, but I am so glad I was able to have such a positive impact on so many people,” he wrote on July 6.

“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,” he continues, adding:

It’s 2017. I cannot believe that it is still controversial to speak about mental health in the workplace when 1 in 6 americans are medicated for mental health.

Congleton is sourcing a Scientific American article from December 2016, which goes on to report that “just over one in 10 adults reported taking prescription drugs for ‘problems with emotions, nerves or mental health,'” sourcing statistics from a piece published in JAMA Internal Medicine earlier that month.

A top highlighted quote from Congleton’s Medium piece is “It’s 2017. We are in a knowledge economy. Our jobs require us to execute at peak mental performance. When an athlete is injured they sit on the bench and recover. Let’s get rid of the idea that somehow the brain is different.”

It’s even more difficult for people of color to not only receive mental health care, but to even discuss it.

HuffPost reported in October 2016, “according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of Minority Health, black people are 10 percent more likely to report having serious psychological distress than white people. There’s a stigma when it comes to black men talking about their mental health.”

And it isn’t just about stigma. They continue: “Despite being disproportionately affected by mental health conditions, black men in America have to deal with a lack of health care resources, a higher exposure to factors that can lead to developing a mental health condition, a lack of education about mental health and other factors that serve as barriers to getting proper help.”

It’s also more difficult for people of color to feel as though others—even medical professionals—can relate to their mental health care; “African-Americans make up less than 2 percent of American Psychological Association members, according to a 2014 survey,” Mic reports. Even more, “Latinos are less likely to report mental illness,” with very few Latinos actually seeking help, according to Latina.

Which is why it’s so helpful and important for people like Congleton and Parker to speak openly about the need to take care of mental health.

“What if we talked about physical health the absurd way we talk about mental health?” ATTN: asked in a video posted on May 26.

Parker wrote about her previous hurdles in navigating a job while handling anxiety and depression, noting, “I struggle with illness. Just as the flu would prevent me from completing my work, so do my depression and anxiety.”

Her point is valid, mental and physical health are treated differently. As the video shows, you wouldn’t tell someone with a broken leg, “it’s like you’re not even trying to walk.” Why do we do the same thing to people suffering from mental conditions?

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Self-Care Series: Week 1

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Welcome to our Self-Care Series! This week I want to talk about something we have a tendency to do for others…but not for ourselves.  That would be…CELEBRATE! Each one of us has  these moments of triumph in our lives. They happen far more frequently than we notice. Each and every day there is something to celebrate.  As a parent, spouse, friend, co-worker….we see those moments for other people.  If you have ever potty trained a child…you know that those first few times the child actually uses the bathroom it feels like you’ve won a Nobel Peace Prize!  OR what about when your spouse/significant other gets a raise or a new client? How do you feel inside when a friend calls you in a fit of excitement to share a moment of joy?

You celebrate these moments with them…for them….and it’s real, genuine joy that you have for them.

We need to take those moments for ourselves too.

Recently, I’ve decided to get rid of the clutter and downsize.  I used to be the kinda gal that liked every surface covered with something that meant something. I wanted pictures on every wall and knick-knacks on every flat surface.  BUT it caused me so much stress. My home never looked neat. The amount of stuff everywhere actually game me  anxiety,  but didn’t realize it for years.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been purging my home. It’s incredible how much peace this has brought me…and also how easy it is to keep things clean!

I sit back now and look around and I find joy and peace in my clutter free spaces.  And I celebrate this.  I truly do. I smile….give myself a pat on the back and allow that happiness, pride and again….joy….to surround me.

A lot of us wouldn’t think to celebrate these moments…but if it matters to you and you did it…celebrate it.

Take pride in your moments. They can be HUGE…life changing….OR just the stuff we do on a day to day basis. Take a moment and list (even mentally if the paper is too much hassle) all the things that you’ve accomplished today and celebrate them!

Celebrate YOU. You deserve it.

I’d love to read your thoughts…share them below!

nikkisig

Self-Help QUOTES

Self-Help Quotes

Insightful Quotes on Self-Help

#1 and most importantly; “Don’t feel guilty for doing what is best for you.”

Self-improvement quote – What ever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.
Quote about self-help – What ever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.

Self-help quote – If you stumble, make it part of the dance.
Self-improvement quote – The moment when you want to quit, is the moment when you need to keep pushing.
Quote about self-help – What we see depends mainly on what we look for.
Self-help quote – There is a season for everything under the sun-even when we can’t see the sun.
Self-improvement quote – A happy soul is the best shield for a cruel world.
Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground
Self-help quote – It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.
Self-improvement quote – Remember to be proud of yourself. No victory is too small to celebrate.
Quote about self-help: “At the end of the day, you can either focus on what’s tearing you apart or what’s holding you together.
Self-help quote – Difficult roads often lead to be beautiful destinations.”
Self-improvement quote – Don’t stumble over something behind you.
Quote about self-help – The greatest power you can give someone is to say, ‘I believe in you’.
Self-help quote – Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.
Quote about self-help – It’s okay to be afraid of failing, you just can’t let it stop you from trying.
Self-improvement quote – Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.
Self-help quote – Believe in your dreams. They were given to you for a reason.
Quote about self-help – Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.
Self-improvement quote – We’d achieve more if we chased our dreams instead of our competition.
Self-help quote – Until you cross the bridge of your insecurities, you can’t begin to explore your possibilities.
Quote about self-help – Sometimes we need someone to simply be there. Not to fix anything, or to do anything in particular, but just to let us feel that we are cared for and supported.
Self-improvement quote – Big things often have small beginnings.
Self-help quote – If you are not willing to risk the usual you will have to settle for the ordinary.
Quote about self-help – The future depends on what you do today.
Self-improvement quote – You can’t change the ocean or the weather, no matter how hard you try, so it’s best to learn how to sail in all conditions.
Self-help quote – Closed doors, rejections. They do not decide your fate, they simply redirect your course, you must keep moving because life’s detours can also be meaningful.
Quote about self-help – It might be stormy right now, but it can’t rain forever.
Self-improvement quote – Close your eyes and imagine the best version of you possible. That’s who you really are, let go of any part of you that doesn’t believe it.
Self-help quote – Nothing is permanent in this world. Not even our troubles.
Quote about self-help – We cannot achieve more in life than what we believe in our heart of hearts we deserve to have.
Self-improvement quote – Letting toxic people go in not an act of cruelty. It’s an act of self-care.
Self-help quote – A tiny step of courage is always a good place to start.
Quote about self-help – Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
Self-improvement quote – Be thankful for what you are now and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow.
Self-help quote – You cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people you chooose to be around.
Quote about self-help – What you tell yourself everyday will either lift you up on tears you down.
Self-improvement quote – The only way you are going to experience the beauty of life is to stop obsessing about what’s wrong with it.
Self-help quote – Remember even your worst days only have 24 hours.