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.
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:
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.