Big businesses roll out the yoga mat for mental health campaigns

Tech giant Facebook made moves to prioritize mental health this week, showing that mental health awareness is no longer niche for big brands.


October 11, 2019

As the wellness movement takes hold, major companies are taking steps to get their business strategies in shape. 

Just this week, Mark “Time Well Spent” Zuckerberg unveiled a new line of filters and stickers on Facebook for World Mental Health Day. The stickers are supposed to facilitate honest conversations about mental health — and the social media giant will donate cash every time a user sends one (up to $1m, anyway).

Facebook’s not going out on a limb here

It’s joining a slew of companies that have come out with pro-mental health campaigns lately (some better received than others). Many of the world’s most powerful companies are looking to younger companies to learn how to reach a consumer base that’s increasingly interested in inclusivity, self-care, and corporate social responsibility. 

Give the people what they want 

Customers’ preferences for pro-mental health products aren’t coming out of nowhere. About 20% of adults in the US deal with mental illness in any given year — but stigma prevents many from seeking treatment. 

The wellness movement has made it (more) OK to talk about these kinds of topics, and consumers have shown that they want to get in on the conversation.

So consumers are talking — and businesses are clearly listening

At an annual meeting last month, top CEOs announced that their top priorities should be investing in employees, delivering value to customers, and doing business ethically — not maximizing profits. 

Addressing mental health concerns fits into that framework. But it’s not as though companies are forgoing cash to address these issues. Pro-wellness initiatives also clearly play well with consumers. 

Companies that have implemented mental health initiatives for their employees have reported significant savings on things like healthcare costs. Plus, happy employees are both more productive and more loyal than unhappy ones. 

It’s one of those rare cases where profitability and doing the right thing actually line up. 

Learn more about World Mental Health Day, including suicide prevention resources, here

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