Coffee retailer and cafe chain organisation Starbucks has committed to breaking the stigma around mental health and supporting its 291,000-strong global workforce by launching a wellbeing app, in addition to running training courses centred around mental and emotional resilience.
In Autumn 2019, the employer initially brought together 12,000 store leaders from the US and Canada for a session on mental wellbeing and emotional first aid; this was followed by the sharing of feedback and ideas relating to mental health and wellbeing via Starbucks’ ‘mental health matters’ online forum, which received contributions from almost 5,000 employees.
In its efforts to open up discussion around mental health, Starbucks has also partnered with organisations including youth charity the Born This Way Foundation, veteran charity Team Red White and Blue, and disaster response organisation Team Rubicon.
On Monday 6 January 2020, the organisation added to its benefits aimed at supporting employees’ mental wellbeing by providing staff with the opportunity to sign up for a free subscription to the Headspace app, which provides access to themed sessions and guided meditations on subjects such as stress, sleep, focus and anxiety.
Moving into 2020, the organisation also plans to update its employee assistance programme (EAP), using employee feedback to create care that meets specific needs. There will also be dedicated training available for US and Canada store managers to provide the right guidance and skills needed to listen and provide initial support for an employee experiencing a mental health issue.
Lucy Helm, chief partner officer at Starbucks, 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.”
A further comment released by Starbucks added: “Mental health is a fundamental part of our humanity. We have so much more opportunity ahead, and with each step, we want to ensure that every partner, in every store, feels supported and knows how and where to seek help for themselves and others.”