Why Mental Health Benefits Are a Must for Today’s Workforce

Sponsored by Cox

Sarah Sweeney

Image courtesy of Cox Enterprises.

Cox Enterprises
Cox Enterprises

The mental health of today’s workforce is on shaky ground.

According to a recent study by Mental Health America, four out of five employees in the U.S. feel emotionally drained from their work (an early sign of burnout) and three out of five employees in the U.S. say that they are not receiving adequate support from supervisors to manage stress.

And it’s no wonder that this is happening. The ever-looming threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, lately punctuated with high transmission levels and variants, seems to always lurk in the foreground of projects, meetings and conversations. The challenges of working from home — from caregiving woes to isolation — add to the laundry list of reasons why mental health is more important than ever before.

The world recently witnessed an inspiring example of prioritizing wellness during one’s career, as gymnast Simone Biles recently protected her own mental health during the Olympic Games. It’s an inspiring example and one that will likely stir people in all industries, sports or otherwise, to examine how they are tending to their mental and emotional health — and how their employers enable them to do so. 

Sarah Sweeney is the Director of Lifestyle Benefits at Cox Enterprises and is an expert on the topic. She points out that mental health is one aspect of total wellbeing.

“Traditionally, I believe employers have thought of wellness as solely physical — what gym memberships they can offer, how they can support employees’ physical needs and so on. The reality is, wellbeing is a holistic approach and mental wellbeing is just one piece of the puzzle.”

It’s a topic that is very close to Sarah’s heart, too. In late 2020, she had a recurrence of cancer and said that she used each and every mental health benefit Cox provides to help cope with the diagnosis.

“I am grateful and lucky to work for an organization that so highly values the wellbeing of each of our employees and really walks the walks as well as talks the talk,” she said. “From the CEO, executive team and leadership broadly, mental health is a priority in our company. Cox offers a variety of resources for a variety of needs, from a free meditation app to free counseling and financial coaching for all employees.”

More specifically, Cox provides the following:

  • Video behavioral therapy

  • Talk Saves Lives Training: developed by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

  • Resources for Living Employee Assistance Program: free therapy visits along with a variety of other services

  • Headspace: free access to Headspace, an app that offers guided meditation, sleep assistance, mindfulness resources and more

  • Openfit: free access to Openfit, an exercise and wellness app that offers live training as well as a library of workout videos and more

  • Daily Cox meditation calls: employee-led mini-meditation sessions during the workweek

  • Free financial and legal consultation 

As the future of the pandemic remains unknown, Sarah believes that now is a good time to take a critical look at company benefits and what values they meet.

“Everyone has a choice as to where they want to work and where they want to spend their time. I would encourage everyone to look at their employers as another opportunity of choice, making sure your employer values your wellbeing, goals and overall mental health as much as you should. We have one life to live, let’s start living!”


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