Together for mental health
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this month Anaplan joins the National Alliance on Mental Illness to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public, and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.
In 2021 more than 80% of U.S. workers reported mental health challenges (*58% in the UK), and 54% of HR and benefits leaders reported that their employees have higher expectations for mental health support. The tech industry specifically faces several challenges:
- 51% of tech professionals have been diagnosed with a mental health condition.
- 71% of tech workers said their productivity is affected by a mental health issue.
- 57% of tech industry employees reported burnout.
(Data provided by Lyra, Anaplan’s mental health partner in the U.S., and *Vitality, our UK partner.)
The 2022 Mental Health Awareness Month theme is Together for Mental Health, and while a lot of the mental health initiatives come from specific departments and company priorities, as employees we can champion for programs and personally take the lead on initiatives that benefit our mental health and that of our colleagues. Together — if we continue to push for what we need — we can keep the momentum going so people everywhere feel supported.
At Anaplan, our benefits include comprehensive mental health coverage. In addition, there are many programs and services offered that speak to Anaplan’s commitment to improving the staggering statistics mentioned above, including:
- Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), including regular programming to offer support and connection to those interested, along with company-wide awareness days and activities. Our ERGs include Women’s Interest Network, Anaplan Pride, Neurodiversity Network, Anaplanable Accessibility Network, Black Employees of African Descent, Asiaplan, and Latinx.
- Resources for parents in need of childcare and personalized support.
- Activities for employees to connect and take a break during the day, like speed meetups, hobby and interest-based Slack channels (#anaplan-cats and #whats-cooking are two favorites!), and both virtual and in-person mindfulness sessions.
- Workshops to support mental health and well-being, such as Supporting Working Parents and Managing Stress and Anxiety.
- Encouragement to create calendar blocks for a mental health break, a walk outside, or a workout.
- Virtual happy hours, allowing time to get to know colleagues in a social environment while playing games and chatting about non-work-related topics.
- Regular “No meeting” days.
- Several dedicated days off a year for volunteer work.
- Quarterly culture-focused days and mental health days off.
The emphasis on mental health this month couldn’t come at a better time, and while I love it’s the whole month, this is something we should talk about every single day. Mental wellbeing starts with connecting with others, being grateful, being good to yourself and speaking up. Start today, don’t wait. Many of us are rooting you on.
- Linda Lee, Anaplan's Chief Culture Officer
Since the pandemic began, many companies have started prioritizing mental health benefits and are attracting top talent due to their commitment to comprehensive wellness. While researching, it was refreshing to see the clear messaging around the importance of mental health alongside all the various programs organizations have available to their employees. It takes highlighting these efforts to bring about change — here are some of the creative and useful services offered by those leading the way:
- Reimbursement for pet adoption fees (we all know our furry friends improve our mental health!).
- Monthly well-being reimbursement.
- Mental health baseline as a part of the company’s main KPIs.
- Virtual after-school club for kids.
- On-site spaces to disconnect, like a library, gym, or nap room.
- Free membership to the Headspace or Calm meditation apps.
- Vacation bonus to take special trips.
- Support programs and consultations with experts for parents raising children with learning or behavior challenges.
- Internal cohort of employees trained in active listening, that other employees can connect with for compassion and no judgment.
- Paid sabbaticals after a certain amount of time with a company.
- Week off for rest between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Organizations are seeing the positive impact of comprehensive mental health benefits — top talent, strong culture, increased productivity, deeper connections, and healthier and happier employees. Mental health benefits are not a trend — these services will continue to be a key strategy to attracting and retaining top notch employees.
This Mental Health Awareness Month, we encourage our colleagues, customers, partners, and friends to take advantage of the offerings available to you, and never apologize for prioritizing your mental health. Together we can speak up, push for improved mental health benefits, and champion programs that make a difference.
What mental health benefits do you find most useful, and what else should companies consider adding to their lineup? Leave a comment!
Mental health resources:
- MentalHealth.gov (U.S.)
- CDC Mental Health Resources (U.S.)
- Samaritans (UK)
- Mind (UK)