The FINANCIAL — Amazon today launched a new mental health benefit, Resources for Living, that provides every U.S. employee, their family, and their household with a single place to start for personalized, convenient, and confidential support for mental health and daily life assistance. These services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and include access to free counseling sessions in-person or through the phone, video, or text.
“Easy and affordable access to mental health care has become increasingly important as we all continue to navigate different everyday challenges,” said Beth Galetti, Amazon senior vice president of People eXperience and Technology. “Providing access to—and awareness around—mental health care is a critical responsibility for employers. This new offering will help us remove barriers and unnecessary stigma around getting help, to ensure our employees and their families feel safe and supported.”
Amazon notes that according to the nonprofit Mental Health America, more than 26 million adults went untreated for mental health concerns in the U.S. in 2020. And a recent survey by the American Psychological Association showed that 48% of parents have more stress in their personal lives now than before the COVID-19 pandemic started.
“It is critically important that employers like Amazon evaluate and expand their programs and put a more significant focus on the mental health and mental well-being of their employees, especially as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic and begin to re-enter the workplace,” said Daniel H. Gillison Jr., CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). “Employers bear a responsibility to ensure access to and provide adequate mental health services to their employees. It is good for their workers and it is good for business.”
Through the new Resources for Living program, Amazon employees, their families, and anyone living in their homes have access to several resources:
Free one-on-one counseling sessions—three sessions per person, per topic. Amazon will fund up to 24 million counseling sessions per year for its U.S. employees.
Flexible options including in-person, phone, video, or text conversations for counseling sessions.
Interactive self-care programs, including self-assessments, and a stress resource center.
Crisis and suicide-prevention support and access to a licensed mental health clinician any time of day.
Access to a self-paced app that offers computerized Cognitive Behavior Therapy, mindfulness resources, and personalized support for a broad range of mental health and wellness issues, according to Amazon.
The health and safety of employees is Amazon’s No. 1 priority—and has been since Day 1. Amazon works closely with health and safety experts and scientists, and conducts thousands of safety inspections each day in the company’s buildings. We have also made hundreds of changes as a result of feedback from employees on how to improve their well-being at work, such as providing dedicated resources for their mental health and well-being.
All Amazon regular full-time employees receive the same core benefits, regardless of their role, level, or position—from the company’s executives to front-line employees in fulfillment centers preparing orders for customers. This new mental health offering complements the comprehensive benefits package that we offer to all regular full-time employees, which includes health insurance from an employee’s first day on the job, a 401(k) plan with a company match, up to 20 weeks of paid leave for birthing parents, subsidized child and adult backup care, access to subsidized skills training opportunities, and more.