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The Work-Life Issue

What 4 Real Employers Are Doing to Support Mental Health at Their Companies

There’s a mental health crisis in the United States. In addition to the mounting pressure we all experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers have also experienced increasingly stressful workplace conditions that have contributed to mental health consequences.

Inflexibility, low wages, and hostile environments are just the tip of the iceberg. Much of the stress workers are experiencing is also being compounded by increasing financial pressure from the highest inflation Americans have experienced in four decades.

As a result, workers are quitting their jobs at a record pace in favor of employers who pay more, provide more flexibility, and prioritize employee well-being. These have become the keys to maintaining employee satisfaction, and employers have no choice but to meet these demands if they want to retain their best and brightest employees.

Part of the driving force behind this movement is that the COVID-19 pandemic showed that many jobs can be completed from the comfort of your home. Working from home is more valuable than ever as some workers continue to avoid crowds to prevent COVID-19 infection, which is responsible for nearly a million deaths in the United States alone.

This push toward remote work gave way to levels of work flexibility and job satisfaction that workers across many industries aren’t willing to give up. Alongside this, there has been an increasing awareness of the importance of mental health in the workplace. We sat down with four employers to see how they're supporting their employees' mental health in these times.

A Holistic Approach to Well-Being

The Lifetime Value Company (LTV Co.) prioritizes a holistic approach to employee well-being, which includes significant mental health support. Stefani Ribaudo is very hands-on in her approach despite being a C-suite executive. She leads a daily meditation group to alleviate anxiety and stress in the workplace.

In addition to daily meditation, LTV Co. also offers free access to the Peloton app for a year. In addition to the many physical health benefits of physical activity, regular exercise is also scientifically proven to reduce and even prevent symptoms of anxiety.

Employees at LTV Co. can also talk with live therapists any time of the day or night using Talkspace, and utilize self-paced tools to manage symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. LTV Co. also provides “free virtual classes via ClassPass and contributions toward in-person classes, gym membership discounts, and wellness and beauty studio discounts,” Ribaudo shared.

"As we’ve rolled out these benefits over the last several years, our quarterly employee survey ratings and retention rates have both continued to increase," says Ribaudo. "In the midst of the Great Resignation, LTV Co. is proud to have a retention rate of over 91% and to have been voted one of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work in 2022."

Stefani Ribaudo, CPO at LTV Co.

In the midst of the Great Resignation, LTV Co. is proud to have a retention rate of over 91% and to have been voted one of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work in 2022.

— Stefani Ribaudo, CPO at LTV Co.

A Shared Responsibility for Mental Health

Some companies, like seoplus+, make mental health everyone's responsibility. Through a series called Training Thursdays, Brock Murray, the Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of seoplus+, gives employees the opportunity to complete mental health training and Mental Health First Aid Certification. Murray also prioritizes resources and reimbursement for mental health services.

Supervisors also take an interest in employees’ mental health. “We make sure our team has one-on-one meetings every week to check on employee well-being and determine how leadership and management teams can support their needs at work. Occasional social events on Fridays are also another way we engage with employees to improve mental health,” Murray explained.

As a result, Murray reports that seoplus+ has a happy work environment with satisfied employees. They’ve also retained the majority of their top talent, which helps the company as well as its employees.

On-Call Counseling

Symetria Recovery takes a different approach to employee mental health. Much like the Showtime hit "Billions," Symetria Recovery has a dedicated psychologist for employees. According to Dr. Lea McMahon, LPC, EdD, and chief clinical officer at Symetria Recovery, “Employees meet with the office psychologist every other week for a mental health evaluation. Employees who don’t pass the evaluation are encouraged to take the day off to unwind. We also updated our leave policy to include additional paid days off!”

This program began during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the payoff has been significant. Dr. McMahon explains that “employees are able to take mental health days without exhausting their sick or casual leave. As a result, turnover decreased while productivity, employee morale, and job satisfaction increased.”

Approaching mental health from the perspective of breaks and vacations is nothing new. Symetria Recovery’s mental health leave policy is rooted in science. Studies show that work breaks including weekends, vacations, and mental health days increase job satisfaction and mental health, and alleviate work stress.

Mindful Mental Breaks

At Mangrum Career Solutions, Anjela Mangrum prioritizes employee mental health because of her own experience with burnout prior to the pandemic. She provides paid subscriptions to the Headspace app for all of her employees, as well as encourages mental breaks throughout the day.

Mangrum says “many of my team members ended up trying meditation and enjoying it!” Mangrum even set up a gaming console in the break room to provide different options for mental breaks.

Prioritizing mindful meditation in the workplace through apps like Headspace has lasting positive benefits for employees. There’s significant evidence that proves it has the power to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. It may also help with substance misuse, eating disorders, and other mental health concerns.

Mangrum’s mental health initiatives don’t end there. She notes that she has an unspoken rule: “three consecutive days of overtime mean a Friday day off for the entire team when the workload lessens, in addition to overtime pay."

"Instead of having a disgruntled lot slaving away at their laptops, and feeling guilty about keeping them from their homes, I can focus on getting things done this way,” says Mangrum. 

The Great Resignation makes it more important than ever to provide workers with healthy work environments because they aren’t as locked in to working jobs that make them unhappy. Job vacancies far outnumber the workers who may be able to fill them, so it’s up to employers to keep their team members happy and prevent turnover. Otherwise, they could lose top talent to their competition.

5 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Behan C. The benefits of meditation and mindfulness practices during times of crisis such as COVID-19Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine. 2020;37(4):256-258. doi:10.1017/ipm.2020.38

  3. Kandola, Aaron, and Brendon Stubbs. Exercise and Anxiety. Advances in experimental medicine and biology vol. 1228 (2020): 345-352. doi:10.1007/978-981-15-1792-1_23

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By Brianna Graham, MPH
Brianna Graham, MPH, is the founder and CEO of Mixed Media, LLC, a Black woman-owned consulting business. Currently, Brianna holds a certification in public health, and a teaching certificate. She is an expert in copywriting and content writing for healthcare and education organizations.