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Starbucks offers employees free mental health app

January 7, 2020
By Talent Canada Staff

Starbucks is brewing up a new benefit for its Canada workforce — free access to a popular meditation app.

In a post on its website, the coffee chain said it’s providing Headspace to its employees across North America, including 23,000 in Canada.

“Starbucks Canada is working towards eliminating the stigma around mental health in the workplace by taking a holistic approach,” it said in a post. “Offering a free Headspace subscription to all partners is just the latest way the company is working towards that goal.”

What is Headspace?


A year-long subscription to Headspace runs $69.99 US, according to its website, with monthly packages available for $12.99. It’s unclear how much Starbucks is paying for access, but there would undoubtedly be a discount for the quantity of subscriptions.

Headspace features hundreds of guided meditations on everything from stress to sleep, and touts the fact it has “over 40 mindfulness exercises for cooking, eating, commuting and more.”

Other mental health investments

Starbucks has made significant investments in the mental health of its workforce, highlighted by an annual $5,000 mental health benefit launched in 2016 that’s available to all employees who work a minimum of 20 hours per week.

“Most employer support for mental health covers the cost of three to four counselling sessions without recovery or mitigation, whereas a $5,000 benefit will allow for longer term treatment,” the company said.

It has also rolled out training on vulnerability and mindfulness.

Support for young workers

 Starbucks said one of the driving forces behind its investment was the fact it has a young workforce with an average age of 24.

“This is significant because that’s the same age by which 75 per cent of mental health problems present themselves,” it said.

It also announced plans to roll out a new employee assistance program (EAP) and to conduct Mental Health First Aid training for store managers.

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