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January 21, 2021
This past Saturday was World Mental Health Day and advocates around the globe spoke about and campaigned for mental health awareness and support. For the first time in over 100 years, we have a worldwide health pandemic that is not only deadly and very contagious, but also plaguing our social norms. It is crucial that we take care of ourselves - our emotions, our thoughts, our lifestyle, our diet, our fitness and last but not least - our compassion to ourselves and to others.
Even prior to the pandemic, 1 in every 4 Americans experience mental illness every year. Companies have begun addressing mental health in the workplace in efforts to destigmatize the conversation and offer supportive resources to employees.
Below are examples of three companies that offer employees mental health support and have created their own mental health programs.
EY (formerly known as Ernst & Young) is a global professional services firm. With the typical stress associated with the financial industry, EY launched the “R U Ok” program in 2016 to provide mental health support to its employees. EY issued a report making the case for mental illness advocacy in the workplace and estimated 217 million workdays are completely or partially lost each year due to mental illness. The “R U Ok” program provides employees with access to cross-country presentations, virtual events, e-learning, curriculums, peer-to-peer connections and follow-up services like EY Assist, EY’s EAP program.
2) American Express, “Healthy Minds”
In 2012, American Express created the Healthy Minds, Happy Employees program as a way to destigmatize mental health conditions. Healthy Minds offers weekly counseling to employees at each of its twenty employee clinics around the world. With over 53,500 employees worldwide, 97% have access to the Healthy Minds program. The Healthy Minds program has implemented various campaigns, such as the “One in Four,” an educational campaign that reinforces that 25 percent of Americans deal with mental health challenges at some point in their lives.
3) Rare Beauty, Rare Impact
Launched in September 2020, Rare Beauty is already making an impression on the way corporations support mental health. The makeup company has created the Rare Impact program which offers mental health support to employees, partners and communities and aims to reduce the stigma associated with mental health. As part of the program, the Rare Impact Fund has a goal to raise over 100 million dollars over the next ten years to give people access to mental health services. The company pledges to donate 1% of annual sales directly towards the Fund.
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