Starbucks Canada has increased its mental-health benefits from $400 to $5,000 per year for all employees who work 20 or more hours a week, as well as their dependents.

Staff can seek treatment from a clinical psychologist or a counsellor with a master’s degree in social work, counselling psychology or clinical psychology.

Read: Starbucks offers free university tuition to employees

In a series of forums last year, employees explained the value they place on mental-health support, Sara Presutto, vice president of human resources at Starbucks Canada, said in a release.

“The statistics are very clear that mental health is an important issue that is affecting many Canadians,” she said. “We do not believe the current level of support for mental health benefits provided by Canadian employers is sufficient and we encourage all companies in Canada to step up and join this important effort.”

Read: Starbucks expands housing, sabbatical benefits to Chinese employees 

Many Starbucks employees are young – the average age is 24 – and 70 per cent of mental-health problems first present in childhood or adolescence, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

“This is an important age where early intervention can help ensure a healthy future,” Presutto told Benefits Canada in an email.

“The most important thing we can do is offer a safe and welcoming work environment that supports our partners every day and especially in times of need.”

Employees can also take advantage of an employee assistance program, which provides short-term mental health support and can help staff find a long-term therapist.

Read: Treating mental health could boost Canadian economy by $48B a year

Correction: Story updated at 12 p.m. to correct which staff are eligible for EAP.

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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Chas:

The VP HR courageously touches on root cause when she states “The most important thing we can do is offer a safe and welcoming work environment that supports our partners every day and especially in times of need.”
The data about the high prevalence of work-related mental health impairment in the young adult working population is so compelling, that it actually gives employers a road map for resolution. Most won’t address it with more than lip service though, because the culture of short term performance at any cost is so embedded by some corporate people, that there is a fear that if working conditions (including the really destructive co-worker behaviours that are tolerated these days) were improved, results will suffer.
This is enlightened benefits strategy by Starbucks, but treatment by itself still leaves root cause (e.g. the short shifting, under staffing and constant cognitive strains seen at some Starbucks stores these days) unaddressed. To wit, the single attendant seen behind the counter at an EnRoute Starbies store just yesterday, struggling to serve a customer line-up that was at least ten people deep. “Now there’s a breakdown waiting to happen,” I thought to myself.

Wednesday, October 05 at 11:25 am | Reply

Nadia:

Great article and commendable trail blazing by Starbucks Canada!

Typo in article: “… according to to the Centre…”
Many Starbucks employees are young – the average age is 24 – and 70 per cent of mental-health problems first present in childhood or adolescence, according to to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Friday, October 07 at 1:48 pm | Reply

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