Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) has launched a new mental health benefit for its full-time U.S. employees, the online retail giant announced Thursday.
The new program, Resources for Living, is free to workers and their families, who can use it to find personalized, confidential mental health support and daily life assistance.
Available services include three free in-person or remote one-on-one counseling sessions per person, per topic; interactive self-care programs and resources; crisis and suicide-prevention support from licensed mental health clinicians; and a sell-paced app. Users can access services 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
Amazon’s announcement comes as more people nationwide are struggling with their mental health — and as more behavioral health startups are hoping to help employers rise to that challenge. Some examples include companies such as Ginger, Headspace and Lyra Health, all of which have enterprise offerings for employers.
According to a recent State of Mental Health at Work 2021 report from Lyra Health, about 48% of workers nationwide say their mental health has affected their ability to do their job over the past year, and 56% of those with a diagnosable mental health condition haven’t gotten treatment in that time frame.
Plus, 45% of employees who did find care paid for it out of pocket. Meanwhile, another 31% weren’t sure if they had mental health care benefits at all.
“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,” Daniel H. Gillison Jr., CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), said in a press release announcing the Amazon news. “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.”