Verizon Media, an enabler in innovation, content and commerce, announced Mind Together, a coalition of brands working to address mental health and set a new standard in how employees are supported at work. Kellogg Company, Snap and Spotify are founding members committed to improving workplace culture around mental health, and scaling best practices.
The goal of Mind Together is to destigmatize mental health at work through education, awareness campaigns, and expert led sessions.
One in four people globally deal with mental health issues1. In the U.S., less than one third of the workforce feels comfortable discussing mental health in the workplace. In order to support employees and truly change how mental health is perceived at work, Mind Together will bring companies together to share resources and better support employees.
“Mental health has become a global crisis and this past year has accelerated the urgency for companies to take action,” said Guru Gowrappan, CEO, Verizon Media. “One of the biggest barriers to addressing corporate mental health is stigma. As leaders, we have a responsibility to our employees, who are our most important asset, to provide support, resources and education on mental well-being. Kellogg Company, Snap and Spotify have joined Mind Together to help eliminate stigma around mental health and create an accessible and positive workplace. Verizon Media has been on a mission to normalize mental health and scale our efforts with brands like Yahoo. Now with Mind Together, that impact will be felt well beyond Verizon Media.”
Alongside Verizon Media, Kellogg Company, Snap and will help to lead the new initiative as founding partners. Each playing a vital role in defining, establishing and putting the framework into action. Mind Together members have committed to leading with:
Awareness: Developing a robust internal communications toolkit in partnership with coalition members to break down stigmas, increase awareness and inspire a more empathetic and understanding culture;
Education: Implementing a mental health learning program for the workforce;
Conversation: Hosting ongoing quarterly series of candid and open conversations with external experts and thought leaders in the mental health and wellness space.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted the state of mental health around the world. The challenges our employees face are real, and providing education and resources to support mental health has never been more important,” said Melissa Howell, CHRO, Kellogg Company. “Kellogg has long provided mental health benefits and programming, but in the past year we have significantly increased our efforts including partnering with a world-renowned mindfulness expert to facilitate recurring open dialogue around mental health and introducing mental health first aid training. We are proud to be a founding partner of Mind Together and look forward to learning from the other members.”
“Maintaining a kind, smart and creative culture at Snap is a huge priority for us and this requires supporting the wellbeing of our team members, emotionally as well as physically,” said Lara Sweet, Chief People Officer, Snap Inc. “This past year has been enormously challenging, and we have been focused on driving empathy while scaling more support to address the many stressors being placed on our team members. This includes expanding the availability of therapy sessions, as well as providing added child and family care resources. We are thrilled to serve as a founding partner of Mind Together to help destigmatize mental health in the workplace and identify a framework to help more companies do the same for their employees.”
“We spend nearly 35% of our waking hours at work. At Spotify, we believe that by being able to talk about mental health in the workplace, and by being open about our experiences, we can create a culture where no one suffers in silence. We believe that everyone’s experiences of mental health – from illness to wellbeing – are welcomed, respected and championed,” said Linn Caldas, Global Belonging Lead, Health & Wellbeing at Spotify. “Since launching our global employee mental health initiative, ‘Heart & Soul,’ in 2018, we’ve focused on three primary goals in mental health: raising awareness, providing support and reducing stigma. We want people to belong at Spotify, where it’s OK to not be OK. We’re proud to join forces with such influential and admired brands to destigmatize mental health issues and mental illness, and highlight the important role employers have in doing so.”
Over the next year, this coalition will regularly meet to develop a blueprint for leaders on supporting mental health in the workplace from the top down. Each year Mind Together members will report on progress, key learnings and welcome new corporate members. Impact will be measured by quantitative and qualitative assessments of each corporate commitment. The global mental health advocacy group Made of Millions will serve as non-profit advisory partner to the coalition. As an advisor, Made of Millions’ will join each quarterly meeting, share industry insights and provide feedback on commitment execution.
Mind Together is an evolution of Verizon Media’s work on corporate mental health. Verizon Media is focused on creating mental health resources for three key groups: employees, consumers and the industry overall. In addition to the extensive work the company has done for employees across benefits, internal communications and programming, last year the company launched Yahoo Life, a new consumer site focused on all things well-being. This year Yahoo is going deeper on that commitment, with new tools like a mental health directory in partnership with TherapyDen, launching later this month.