Starbucks announced on Monday its new mental health care plan for employees in partnership with mental health benefits provider, Lyra Health: a continuation of the company’s long-term strategy to address mental health that was first mentioned by CEO Kevin Johnson last fall.
The mental health program launches April 6 and is available to all employees and their eligible family members (with the exception being non-tax-dependent domestic partners), with benefits including 20 free in-person or virtual therapy sessions with mental health professionals or coaches, as well as digital resources and programs that meet their specific needs.
Employees who participate will be matched with a therapist or coach with experience in addressing their concerns, from stress to depression and anxiety. Starbucks said that while the average employee will use between eight and 13 sessions per year, if the employee wants to continue using the service, she can purchase more sessions beyond the 20 included in her package at an additional, unspecified out-of-pocket charge.
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“This announcement was created based on partner feedback,” a Starbucks representative said.
“Mental health needs are diverse, and in fact the mental health crisis is incredibly complex, with 1 in 5 adults experiencing some form of mental illness each year. […] We want to ensure every partner, in every store, feels supported and knows how and where to seek help for themselves and others.”
This addition to Starbucks’ mental healthcare package follows the announcement of its partnership with meditation app Headspace in January, which offers free subscriptions to Starbucks employees for the $69.99 per year service.
It’s just the latest option for Starbucks employees in an industrywide of trend of offering more robust and unique employee benefits in an increasingly competitive labor market, like Noodles & Co.’s “phase-in, phase-out” maternity leave policy, that lets new parents work an 80% schedule for the four weeks before and after their maternity leave, for 100% of their paycheck.
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