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Starbucks turns C&B focus to mental health services

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Starbucks in the United States has set out to enhance its existing employee assistance programme and centred its focus on employee mental health, in light of the results and feedback from a leadership conference and internal surveys.

To begin with, its employee assistance programme will start providing short-term counselling services.

According to a company-wide memo last Thursday, store managers and field leaders will participate in a Mental Health Matters session with a clinical psychologist, where they will practise emotional first aid and discuss what it means to thrive and develop self-awareness.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said there would be more announcements soon.

“We believe this is a societal problem and we want to take steps within Starbucks for our partners to break the stigma of mental health, acknowledge that it exists, and do some creative things to provide services to those in need,” he said.

“This is just the beginning, and we are excited and optimistic about what we will do in this regard. Look for meaningful changes to be rolled out over the next year.”

The internal survey has revealed some employees were afraid to reach out to existing programmes.

On 5 September 2019, Starbucks gathered 12,000 store managers and field leaders from the US and Canada for a three-day leadership conference in Chicago, which included presentations from 14 different speakers.

The coffee giant is currently offering healthcare for both part-time and full-time US employees, such as stock, college tuition assistance, and family leave benefits.

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