October 8, 2021

Mental Health and Wellbeing Days

Written by kevin-c


Here at TextNow, we have a pretty simple maxim we live by: Our company is well when our employees are well.

Granted that seems pretty obvious, and it should. We've talked here in the past about our various wellness programs and perks, but one area that's still hard to talk about is mental health and wellbeing. And, because we're a tech company, let's start with some cold hard numbers:

According the the World Health Organization:An estimated 264 million people globally suffer from depression, one of the leading causes of disability, with many of these people also suffering from symptoms of anxiety. A recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion each year in lost productivity.

_‍_And that's just anxiety and depression. It doesn't take into account any of the myriad other potentially debilitating mental health problems like ADHD or OCD or bipolar disorder, each of which affect millions of people around the world.

And while we can't completely solve the issues surrounding mental health here at TextNow, what we can do is try to create an environment where mental health is taken every bit as seriously as your physical health.

That's where our Mental Health And Wellbeing Days come in. The program is very simple: once a month, every employee can take one paid day off as a mental health day. This day doesn't count towards any of your other vacation days or sick days. There's no strings attached. It's just the opportunity to take a day off if your brain is too busy sabotaging you to be productive. Or perhaps even more useful, it's the opportunity to take a day off before the sabotage happens - like a quick reset to keep your mental cache clear of corrupted data. (Told you we're a tech company.)

One of the hardest things to do at any workplace is to try to lift the stigma of mental health. By encouraging everyone (and we mean everyone, from our C-level executives right on down the org chart) to take a day to recharge the mental batteries, we hope to normalize the importance of mental health across the organization.

The other way to reduce stigma is to make our workplace a safe place in which to discuss our mental health struggles and successes. That's why I'm comfortable in saying in a public setting like this that I'm one of those aforementioned 264 million people who suffer from severe anxiety and depression. So I can speak from a very personal position here, and tell you speaking for myself, even just knowing a mental health day is an option is a massive boon to my daily mental outlook. Knowing that I work at a place where it's not just OK to take a mental health day, but actively encouraged, is an almost immeasurable help.

At TextNow, we believe this is self evident. Yes, the data, the facts, the numbers, all tell us that implementing mental health programs like this is good for the bottom line. But, there's something more important than that. It's just the right thing to do.

If you too want to work for a company that puts their employees (and their health) first, please take a look at our Careers page. We can't wait to meet you.