As the coronavirus spread across the United States, leaders at software vendor Elastic became concerned about potential burnout of its employees. To mitigate issues that could impact the mental health of its staff, the company sped up its implementation of Ginger, a software platform that enables employees to quickly connect with a behavioral health coach or licensed therapist via text chat or live video.
In addition to onboarding Ginger a full quarter before planned, Elastic also increased promotion of information about its employee wellness and assistance programs and telehealth solutions on its corporate wiki, says Leah Sutton, senior vice president of global HR for Elastic, whose enterprise search products are used by Walmart, T-Mobile, Adobe and others.
Elastic is among thousands of enterprises fortifying support for employees’ mental health and wellness. Sixty percent of CIOs are putting mental health programs in place to support their staff, according to more than 4,200 IT leaders surveyed for the 2020 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey.
Risks to mental health
Even before the pandemic, one in five Americans grappled with a mental health condition in any given year, according to Forrester Research analyst Arielle Trzcinski. But the pandemic, which has killed over 200,000 people and crippled the economy in the U.S. alone, has sent stress levels soaring. Moreover, social unrest is mounting as a contentious 2020 Presidential election looms.