Starbucks Offers Headspace Subscriptions to Partners as Part of a Comprehensive Mental Health Initiative

A group of Starbucks partners (employees) are seen smiling at the camera.

Starbucks is boosting over 23,000 employees’ well-being with meditation app Headspace

Mental health is more than just a buzzword. One in five Canadians personally experience a mental health problem in any given year, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association. That’s why Starbucks Canada is committed to being a leading employer when it comes to mental health support. 

Nearly four years ago, the company launched an unprecedented $5,000 mental health benefit based on feedback from partners (employees) across the country. Now, to make mental health support even more accessible, the company is providing all partners with a free subscription to the meditation app Headspace, starting January 6, 2020. 

That means all Canadian partners — as well as over 200,000 partners in North American stores and offices — will receive access.

Starbucks Canada is working towards eliminating the stigma around mental health in the workplace by taking a holistic approach. Offering a free Headspace subscription to all partners is just the latest way the company is working towards that goal.

Over the years, the company has learned that eliminating the mental health stigma is about more than just starting the conversation. It’s about educating everyone so that they feel supported and ready to have the dialogue.

As a result, the company created a pocketbook resource to help partners support someone who is having a mental health crisis. The tool was launched last year as a companion to the annual $5,000 mental health benefit available to every partner who works a minimum of 20 hours per week, as well as their dependents. 

Additionally, Starbucks has rolled out a Third Place training series focused on various topics such as vulnerability and mindful decision making. And last September, it offered mental health mindfulness support to 12,000 store managers and field leaders in Chicago.

The launch of the Headspace subscription is an extension of Starbucks Canada’s commitment to supporting partners in their mental health journey. Headspace offers guided meditations, informative videos, articles, and animations to help users live a happier, healthier life. 

Studies show that there are numerous mental and physical benefits to mindfulness meditation. Not only can it help people effectively manage stress and reduce anxiety, but it can also increase focus and even help you sleep better at night.

With this powerful tool, partners will be able to improve their overall well-being in a long-lasting, positive way. 

There are countless reasons why supporting mental health is of high importance to Starbucks Canada, but one of the biggest is because the company is a leading youth employer, where the average age is 24. This is significant because that’s the same age by which 75 per cent of mental health problems present themselves. 

By arming partners with resources and support, they will be better able to curb and cope with mental health problems at home and in the workplace. 

Looking ahead, the company intends to implement a new Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to connect more partners with specific resources and support. Dedicated mental health trainings for store managers will also roll out in Canada and the U.S. in the coming months, inspired by Mental Health First Aid.

Mental health is an important issue facing many Canadians today and Starbucks Canada is committed to ending the stigma. 

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