Breaking the stigma: Mental health in start-up environments

Breaking the stigma: mental health in start-up environments

Originally established in 1949 by Mental Health America, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. With it comes the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the key role mental health plays in a start-up culture. And although the subject only gets one dedicated month, it should be prioritized throughout the year.

At Thoropass, we are highly aware of the importance mental health plays in the workplace. The average startup sees staff attrition rates of 25% and a median tenure of 2 years. You may be saying, ‘Wow!’ but it is a challenge that we face head-on. Seeing these statistics reminds us always to strive to do better and explore ways to support a sustainable culture.

But how do we do that?

Thoropass support, benefits, and perks

Working at Thoropass has its perks and benefits, many of which support employees’ mental health and wellness journey. 

For example, we offer full-coverage healthcare to US employees to ensure they get the healthcare that they need. This includes mental healthcare services such as therapy. Additionally, employees have access to Ginger, a 24/7/365 on-demand mental health service that includes. behavioral health coaching, therapy, psychiatry, and self-care resources—all available from the privacy of a smartphone. Not only is Ginger convenient for our employees, but it ensures Thoropass employees have mental health resources readily available.

We don’t stop at top-notch healthcare in the workplace. Thoropass offers a monthly wellness stipend to help cover employees’ wellness costs to better enable health and wellness. Whether it be a gym membership, yoga class, or meditation app, we want employees to feel supported on their unique wellness journey.

We also have unlimited paid time off for our team to take time off to recharge and relax. Unlimited paid time off grants the team flexibility on taking days (or weeks) off and for them to come back feeling refreshed and with a clear mind.

An important value of the Thoropass culture is to ‘win together’, and in doing so, we realize time is needed to get individual work done for the greater good of the team. To allow a good chunk of time for work to be done, we have ‘no meeting Wednesday afternoons.’ We advocate for teams to work around this in order for individuals to have uninterrupted time to get tasks done. 

Another cultural initiative at Thoropass includes ‘mindful minutes.’ Each week we hold 15-minute calls to join at various times to practice meditation in the workplace, led by our wonderful People Operations Coordinator, Stef Gere. Meditation is proven to reduce stress and boosts the practicers focus. These sessions are always free and we encourage our team to join whenever they feel they want or need to. 

Close to the Thoropass heart

If you couldn’t tell, we’re pretty big advocates for mental and physical wellness. But as part of supporting our employees, we also support the causes they believe in (including mental health charities.)

Thoropass will match an employee’s charitable contribution of up to $200 to a qualified, non-profit organization. Highlighted below are a few examples of mental health charities. 

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): A mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for those affected by mental illness through awareness, support, and education.

National Institute for Mental Health: An agency that transforms the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.

To Write Love on Her Arms: A nonprofit dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide.

The Jed Foundation: A nonprofit that protects teens’ and young adults’ emotional health and prevents suicide.

United for Global Mental Health: An organization that raises awareness, reduces stigma, and increases support for mental health around the world with trusted partners. 

World Federation for Mental Health: An international organization that promotes the advancement of mental health awareness, prevention of mental disorders, advocacy, and best practice recovery-focused interventions worldwide. 

Strong Minds: A social enterprise founded in 2013 that treats depression in low-income women and adolescents by providing group interpersonal therapy (IPT-G), delivered by lay community health workers.

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation: A foundation committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research.

For more mental health resources, please visit Mental Health First Aid.

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