Mental Health Friendly Companies
The mental health of American workers was already tenuous before the pandemic. Many employees felt stressed out and reported symptoms of burnout, especially in younger generations. The pandemic has changed the workplace, accelerated worsening mental health symptoms, causing a crisis, according to some experts.
It’s not just Americans, either. The global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25% during the first year of the pandemic, according to a scientific brief by the World Health Organization (WHO). Of course, not all of this increased mental illness is caused by work. Political polarization, increased mortality rates leading to lost loved ones, and many other things are responsible.
But our personal lives blend with our work lives, especially nowadays when so many of us work remotely. The mental distress of employees is of the utmost importance for companies. Employees who are depressed, burned out, and anxious are much less likely to be engaged and productive.
Employers worldwide have been taking a more active stance on mental health before and after the pandemic. Some companies are better than others at taking care of employee mental health. If you’re concerned about mental health care, it’s in your best interest to find a company that takes it seriously.
Empire Resume will tell you about the most mental-health-friendly companies, including their policies and why they rank high.
American Express is a massive corporation with about 50,000 employees that has been widely recognized for its mental health efforts. The company has an award-winning mental health program called Healthy Minds that stems from its decades-long employee assistance program.
The company provides part-time counselors in employee clinics and has a clinical psychologist that runs its employee assistance program to ensure that it’s continuously improving. American Express has also done a great deal to destigmatize getting help for mental health. They regularly invite prominent people from outside the company to speak to employees about their struggles and successes in dealing with mental health issues.
Netflix doesn’t have a specific program targeting mental health. But employees there say the company’s robust benefits package and flexible schedule make it much easier to find work/life balance and tend to mental wellness needs.
The streaming giant has a very flexible vacation policy and no set number of days off. Netflix believes it’s in everyone’s best interest if employees can take off when they feel like they need what they call a “Mind and Body Break.” Workers don’t have to give explanations, instead just taking time off to recharge.
Netflix also offers employees an annual allowance of up to $15,000 to cover healthcare expenses, including medical, vision, and dental. If employees don’t use the total allowance in a year, they’re eligible to get $5,000 back. This benefit can make a huge difference in an employee’s mental health, considering how expensive health care can be in countries like America.
DigitalOcean is an American cloud infrastructure provider based in New York City, and it’s known for treating its employees well. The company has created a holistic wellness program that includes mental and emotional health, physical health, community, social/connectedness, and financial wellbeing.
The tech company provides workshops for mindfulness, offers yoga once a week, reimburses gym memberships, and has partnered with a medical provider called Spring Health to give employees comprehensive mental health benefits. They realized that working at a tech startup was stressful, so having someone to talk to about struggles, strengths, and weaknesses has really paid off.
The Virgin Group is a massive British multinational venture capital conglomerate co-founded by popular billionaire Richard Branson. Despite being such a huge company with more than 70,000 employees, Virgin Group makes it a priority to help its employees deal with mental health issues.
An example of this is the programs run by Virgin Atlantic, the commercial aviation subsidiary of the company. When the pandemic hit, Virgin Atlantic employees were under intense stress. So, the company partnered with a team of expert psychologists to offer webinars on handling anxiety and providing counseling services available to all Virgin Atlantic employees.
The company’s employee assistance program offers six free counseling sessions to anyone in need of assistance. Virgin Atlantic says there was a significant increase in employees asking for support during the pandemic, so the counseling offered was valuable and helped many people.
EY (Ernst & Young)
Ernst & Young, doing business as EY, is a multinational professional services firm based in London. It’s one of the largest professional services firms globally, and, along with Deloitte, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, it’s considered one of the global Big Four accounting firms. EY also has excellent mental health services for its more than 312,000 employees.
EY has its Wellbeing Fund, which pays up to 75% of the cost (or up to $1,000) of home office equipment, fitness classes, and meal delivery services for its employees. Other items, such as electric bikes, blenders, and even massages, are included. For the past two years, EY has invested $2 billion in total rewards money that employees can spend on almost anything.
Obviously, getting those kinds of benefits can do wonders for mental health. In addition, EY has upped free counseling and mental health sessions from 5 per year to 25 per year. Some EY employees also have increased access to tutoring, child care, and adult care resources, which is an indispensable benefit during the pandemic when so many workers have struggled with child care costs.
Employee Wellbeing is More than a Catchphrase
The pandemic has taken a toll on workers’ mental health. A Society for Human Resource Management survey from last year revealed that work-related concerns led to more than 40% of workers feeling hopeless, burned out, or exhausted when dealing with the pandemic’s effects.
Fortunately, many companies are taking employee mental health seriously. The companies that we listed and many others are increasing benefits, offering flexible schedules, and other things to ensure workers are cared for.
This is something to keep in mind during your job search and perhaps a question to ask during the interview process. A good employer will be proud to talk about its mental health program, while a red flag during an interview could be an employer who doesn’t know anything about mental health.
Good employee benefits like free counseling are great, but they won’t help much if you’re constantly understaffed and overloaded with work. A company that really values mental health won’t push their employees to the point of burnout and they’ll understand that employee wellness is more than a catchphrase.
Stay tuned to Empire Resume’s blog for more helpful insights on careers and employment, including articles such as Effects of Stress in the Workplace, The Hybrid Work Environment, and Industries with Labor Shortages.
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Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.