Pushing back on Blue Monday
Today is Blue Monday --- aka the "bluest" or biggest downer day of the year---traditionally recognized as the third Monday of January.
Why so blue? Because, theoretically, the third Monday of January is a perfect storm of suckiness: The holiday season is over, those Christmas credit bills are upsettingly large, the weather (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere at least) is usually cold and wet and grey and gross, and statistically speaking you’ve probably already blown your New Year’s resolution. Hence: Blue Monday.
While Blue Monday may or may not have any real scientific basis, mental health struggles and Seasonal Affective Disorder most certainly do.
TextNow understands the impact mental health can have on a workplace. So to help combat the blues, on a Monday or any other day, our Mental Health employee resource group has put together a few materials and tools we use here at TextNow.
One of the things we do here is very simple: in our work Slack, we have a channel to discuss various mental health issues and share resources. Once a week we run a survey, just like you see below.
This quick check-in allows people to vent or express their current mental state in a safe way, and to let others know if they're struggling.We also have more substantial programs in place for our employees, available through our Employee & Family Assistance Program:
- Crisis/help lines
- Mental health webinars and workshops on:
- Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
- Practical Mindfulness
- Coping with stress
- and many more
- Access to talk therapy
- Mental Health self-assessment
Outside of those resources we also have a couple of unique policies across the company:
Mental Health And Wellness Days
We started these fairly recently, and the idea is simplicity itself: Our employees are empowered to take one day off per month specifically to take care of their mental health, whether it's to help combat current bad feelings, or as a preventative measure against burn-out. The best part is these are mandatory for everyone in the company, across the board, managers included. We feel that by doing this we can help to de-stigmatize mental health issues, and provide some much needed relief to all TextNovians.
Health Spending/Wellness Account
Another very popular program we have here at TextNow is our Wellness/Lifestyle Account --- a generous fund per employee that can be applied to items like:
- Fitness Club memberships
- Marathon training
- Personal trainers
- Meditation services
- Mental health app subscriptions
- Stress Management Program
And many more. In fact we have so many supports put in place for our employees I'm almost certain to have forgotten to include some.All of this goes toward our deeply held belief that our company is well when TextNovians are well in body, mind and spirit.So we say bring it on, Blue Monday. We're ready for you.