Starbucks hits the jackpot in wins with compassion for it’s employees mental health.
It wasn’t enough for Starbucks to offer employees free coffee, medical benefits, 401k benefits, discount gym memberships, free Spotify memberships, college tuition and now a mental health care package.
Last Thursday, CEO Kevin Johnson announced in a letter to employees the roll out of new benefits to improve employee satisfaction and productivity. Johnson stated, “our store managers and field leaders will experience a Mental Health Matters session with a clinical psychologist that will introduce emotional first aid, followed by a discussion about what it means to thrive and develop self-awareness.”
Starbucks’s Employee Assistance Program, which provides short term counseling services to employees, discovered employees were displaying fear reaching out for help when suffering. “Senior Vice President of global public affairs and social impact for Starbucks, John Kelly, the current offerings are “very comprehensive.” But, he noted, just 4% to 5% of employees actually use it.”
Starbucks is now on board to “break the stigma,” said Kelly, “and really normalize that your mental health is just as important as your physical health.” This is an epic step in the right direction for such a huge corporation considering 1 in 5 American adults lives with mental illness.
“Starbucks will also will partner with organizations such as the Born This Way Foundation, Lady Gaga’s wellness-focused nonprofit organization, and Team Red White & Blue, a nonprofit focused on helping veterans, to tackle the stigma around mental health.”
“If we take a positive step forward, you know, sometimes that can be a catalyst for others to take a positive step forward and create a movement,” Johnson said in an interview.
This is just the kind of movement that Americans need, more support for medical AND mental health from the companies that WE work hard for and support through our daily efforts and contributions. Life really is about giving back. When you are as successful a company as Starbucks has become, giving back is just wise.
When you are in the company of supportive people, you realize that you are never a “You”. You are always a “We”, an “Us” and truly an “All of us”.
When you ask for help or extend your support to your neighbor, your co-worker, your employer, your student, your teacher, your friend, your family, you are participating in the human experience. That is living.
Never be afraid to live, that is to connect to the people around you, learn new skills, meet new people, volunteer your time to make new connections. If you feel like your in a low place with not much to offer, that can all change with the right team of support. That can all change with a phone call, a moment, a day. Never lose hope in community.
If you need help, tell someone, please make a call. There’s a lot of other folks who have been where you are and want to participate in the human experience, to lend a hand or an ear.
The positive cycle continues in recovery when you “give back”: you lend your hand or ear to those who have and are suffering like you were, and you have improved a life just as worthy of improving as yours was. This step is the key to erasing the stigma associated with mental illness, addiction, trauma, and all kinds of pain.
By giving back when you have been helped, you are reminding yourself and others that we are all in this life together. We likely have the same goals: good health, love, the human experience…We all just want to be happy.
We can all relate to one another, be hard workers, fantastic mothers and fathers, loving friends and pillars in our communities, if we ask for help when we need it, and give help when its needed from others.
At VRC, we encourage faith in community, giving back, and sobriety. We are here to help when you are ready to ask.