Story at a glance
- Many Americans are struggling with their mental health during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
- Frame, a mental health services company, is partnering up with other companies to support a mental health hour initiative.
- The hour can be used weekly or monthly at the employee’s discretion.
While World Mental Health Day comes just once a year, taking care of your mental health is a year-round responsibility. But between work, family and other obligations, there never seems to be the time. If only there were one more hour in the day.
To address this, California-based mental health company Frame is pledging one hour of paid time off each week for mental health and wellbeing to its employees, and is asking other companies to do the same.
“At Frame we’re really passionate about destigmatizing mental health,” co-founder Kendall Bird said. “It is socially acceptable to go to the dentist's office or tell your boss you have a fever and have to leave, but it's still taboo to take time off to go to therapy.”
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Founders Bird and Sage Grazer initially started the company as a matching service, pairing people with a form of therapy and a therapist, but Frame's mission has since expanded.
More than a dozen other companies, including Pier 1, DressBarn, The Skimm and Hatch are joining Frame in their pledge and the company is hoping more will join. The 60 minutes can be used weekly, according to the pledge, or monthly, at the employee's discretion. So whether you want to attend therapy, meditate, go for a walk or just log off of your email and silence your notifications — you can take one hour out of work to replenish yourself.
Research shows that unaddressed mental health issues — whether at work or home — can make employees less productive and even burn out completely. It can also accumulate and present itself in physical forms, from headaches and stomach problems to heart disease and other illnesses.
The coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated existing stressors, with 41 percent of adults reporting at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition stemming from the pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Research by the Commonwealth Fund also shows that Americans in particular are struggling with their mental health more than people in other wealthy nations, with Black and Hispanic populations bearing much of the burden.
“Without the distraction of travel and people losing their jobs and the uncertainty, people are feeling anxious, lonely or depressed for the first time. It's fundamentally changed the way we all work, at least for the short term,” Bird said.
Frame also offers resources, both for individuals looking for support or therapy, as well as its own services, which include free livestreamed conversations between therapists and volunteer participants as well as therapy matching (which is only available in California as of now).
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