Starbucks Offers Meditation App to Improve Employee’s Mental Health

January 7, 20203:00 pm798 views
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Mental health needs are diverse, and in fact the mental health crisis is incredibly complex, with 1 in 5 adults experiencing some form of mental illness each year. Starbucks partners and customers experience it firsthand every day – in their personal lives, in their stores, and in the neighborhoods it serves.

At an event held last fall for store managers and field leaders from the U.S. and Canada, Starbucks laid out the company’s commitment by declaring that at Starbucks, mental health matters. The chief partner officer, Lucy Helm said, “Together, we’re on a mission to take a stand, help break the stigma, and get even more partners and their family the support they need.”

It started with bringing 12,000 store leaders together for an unprecedented session on mental well-being and emotional first aid. Since then, Starbucks partners have started sharing dialogue, feedback and ideas regarding mental health and wellbeing in the company’s Mental Health Matters online forum, with nearly 5,000 partners contributing. Partners involved in the Disability Advocacy Network have also continued the dialogue and have been providing input along the way to help shape this initiative.

More than 200,000 partners have participated in Third Place Development Series training, tackling topics like loneliness, vulnerability, courage, and the power of small acts and conversation to strengthen human connection.

Starbucks have partnered with organisations that share its purpose to help break the stigma around mental health, including the Born This Way Foundation to bring kindness to customers on World Kindness Day, and Team Red White & Blue and Team Rubicon on Veterans Day to reaffirm its commitment to the country’s military personnel, their families and their mental health.

And as of Monday (Jan 6) Starbucks added Headspace to its suite of comprehensive benefits and resources to support its partners, as research shows many mental health-related benefits of meditation. Partners can sign up for a free Headspace subscription and have access to hundreds of themed sessions and easy guided meditations on everything from stress and sleep to focus and anxiety.

See also: How Tech in the Workplace Could Worsen Employee’s Mental Health (And What You Can Do About It)

Starbucks work ahead will continue to be rooted in listening, learning and taking bold actions. In the coming months, it will be launching two major initiatives:

  • A completely reimagined Employee Assistance Program created with feedback from partners and qualified mental health experts to connect more partners to quality care that meets their specific needs. The program will draw on partners’ feedback from using current EAP program and build on legacy of providing comprehensive healthcare to full and part-time partners for nearly 30 years.
  • Dedicated training for all U.S. and Canada store managers inspired by Mental Health First Aid. This training is being designed for Starbucks by the National Council for Behavioral Health that will provide guidance and skills needed to listen to and provide initial resources that can support someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue, substance use problem or crisis.

Mental health is a fundamental part of our humanity. Starbucks have so much more opportunity ahead, and with each step, it wants to ensure that every partner, in every store, feels supported and knows how and where to seek help for themselves and others.

Read also: Shift Work Tied to Poor Mental Health: Research