As we head into the last week of Mental Health Awareness Month, I want to emphasize the importance of mental wellness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 adults in our country are living with a mental illness. And all of us will, at one point or another, experience stress, grief or a key life event for which we might require extra support. As a major employer and recognized Great Place to Work, Walmart and Sam’s Club are able to help provide access to quality mental health support for millions of associates and their families across the country and help set the standard for how employers can address mental health in the workplace.
For us, ensuring access to quality mental health support is paramount, and we are taking a comprehensive approach to mental health in four key areas:
- Free counseling: We’re increasing the number of free therapy and mental health coaching sessions available to all associates and their families, from 10 to 20 sessions per person, per year. These confidential mental health services are provided by licensed mental health professionals and are available to every associate – part-time and full-time – in the U.S., as well as their household dependents, starting on the associate’s first day on the job. No medical plan enrollment required.
- Leadership training: We recently announced the launch of a major initiative to educate frontline and campus office leaders on how to help someone who may be struggling with a behavioral health issue. In the first four weeks, more than 10,000 associates have completed Walmart and Sam's Club's new Workplace Mental Health course.
- Proactive Outreach: Mental health professionals proactively reach out and call associates with the goal of providing support and an early connection to care. To date, this program has engaged with more than 50,500 associate households and provided critical emotional and mental health support to more than 24,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club families in the U.S.
- Resources: Unlimited access to easy-to-use, web and app-based tools, including videos, articles, exercises and meditations, for associates to find the support that fits them wherever they are, whenever they need it.
Simply put, when it comes to the health and well-being of our Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, it is important all have access to benefits and resources that can support them and their families at any stage of life. It’s not enough to just tell people you’re here if they need anything. You have to actually show up for them. We’re proud to show up for our associates and their families whenever they need us, just like they show up for our customers and members every day.