Mental health has always been important to me as a Sr. Manager in Global Benefits, but today, it’s one of the first things I think about when meeting with my team. While I’m not a mental health counselor, I want to share with you my personal experience with mental health in the workplace as a Global Benefit Professional.
At ActiveCampaign, we partner with vendors who provide resources to help prepare managers for difficult mental health conversations. However, I’ve learned that simply checking in — even via Slack — can go a long way. Feeling support from a mental well-being perspective should be something we all look for in our manager and employer, something ActiveCampaign does well.
As a result of the pandemic, mental health awareness became top of mind for most employers. We received more feedback than ever before from employees who were burnt out, stressed, and experiencing Zoom fatigue. It became extremely important to check with our team, and surprisingly, we found innovative ways to connect virtually (e.g., virtual happy hours, holiday-themed virtual parties, bingo, etc.).
But working from home still created distractions and obstacles, from lack of childcare to working seemingly endless hours. Barriers like these have a detrimental impact on mental well-being, especially if they are not addressed timely. Promoting and advocating for mental wellness effectively reduces roadblocks both at work and in our personal lives. Flexible work schedules are a good, yet simple example for parents juggling work life and parent/personal life. Personally, our flexible work schedule allows me to work west coast hours (I’m based in Seattle) even though most of the company operates in the central time zone. This keeps me mentally well-balanced (especially because I’m not a morning person).
Some other examples of great ActiveCampaign benefits are:
- Virtual counseling sessions – ActiveCampaign provides 6 sessions annually
- Access to a relaxation and meditation app
- Open personal time off (PTO)
- On-demand workout sessions
- Various Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
- Sabbatical leave after 5 years
- Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
Another barrier we face today is access to therapists. Behavioral Health (BH) therapists are in high demand and can be difficult to find. In my experience, they are either not taking new patients or have long waitlists. Consequently, utilizing the tools and resources available through your employer could be a short-term solution for your mental health. During the pandemic, I took advantage of virtual counseling sessions provided by my employer while waiting to find an in-person psychiatrist. Honestly, this wasn’t the ideal solution for me, but it did keep me stable.
The journey to mental health is different for everyone. While the path varies for each person, on Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to share a little bit about my experience and remind everyone to research resources available to you through your employer. Holistic well-being (emotional, physical, and social) translates to a healthy and happy me.