Starbucks offering meditation app to all Canadian employees

Starbucks Canada is giving its more than 23,000 employees a free subscription to meditation app Headspace.

In total, more than 200,000 employees across North America are receiving access to the app, which offers guided meditations and videos, articles and animations around mental-health topics.

“By arming [employees] with resources and support, they will be better able to curb and cope with mental-health problems at home and in the workplace,” said Starbucks in a press release.

Read: Starbucks Canada increases mental-health benefits to $5,000

The move is part of the company’s broader mental-health strategy. In 2016, Starbucks made a $5,000 mental-health benefit available to employees who work 20 or more hours a week, as well as their dependants.

The company said it considers its employees’ mental health important because it’s a “leading youth employer,” with the average worker age at 24. The press release referred to a 2005 Archives of General Psychiatry study, which found 75 per cent of mental-health issues present themselves by that age.

Going forward, Starbucks said it plans to establish a new employee assistance program to help connect employees with resources and other support. It also intends to roll out dedicated mental-health training for Canadian and U.S. store managers in the coming months, which is inspired by the two-day mental-health first aid training course.

Read: Treatment access, innovation integral to supporting employee mental health