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​Starbucks sets standard for employee mental health

7th Oct 2016 AMHO News

Program will provide employees with $5,000 annual benefit for mental health and addiction challenges

October 7, 2016

Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) and CMHA Ontario congratulate Starbucks Canada for the company’s latest initiative to support the mental health needs of its employees. Starbucks is substantially augmenting its mental health benefits to its employees as of Oct. 1.

Starbucks has increased its annual limit to $5,000 for employees working a minimum of 20 hours weekly as well as their dependents. The amount constitutes the “highest mental health benefits offered at any company in Canada across all industries,” according to the company.

According to a study by Morneau Shepell, one-in-three working Canadians report having, or having had, a mental health condition such as depression or an anxiety disorder.

“We’re pleased to hear that employees will be able to use the benefit for both mental health and addiction challenges. This announcement is an important step to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health,” AMHO CEO Gail Czukar said. “Starbucks Canada should be commended for this positive step and for challenging other companies to make significant contributions to employee mental health, well-being and recovery.”

“The leadership Starbucks Canada has shown through this initiative is tremendous,” CMHA Ontario CEO Camille Quenneville said. “Mental health is just as important as physical health and Starbucks Canada is setting an example other businesses should follow.”

Starbucks said its average age of its employees is 24. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death in Canada for those between the ages of 10 and 24.

CMHA offers Mental Health Works, which builds mental health awareness, teaches how to respond to challenging situations and collaborates to create a healthier, safer workplace.


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