Best Buy has long focused on providing mental health resources to support our employees, and those efforts have only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past year, we have increased our investment in this area by introducing new benefits and expanding existing ones. It’s a big commitment for us year-round, not just during Mental Health Awareness Month in May.
Mental health is an integral piece of our focus on our employees’ overall well-being — physical, mental, financial and work/life — as we work toward our goal of being one of the best employers in the U.S.
What we’re doing
In the past year, we’ve added the following benefits and resources to help make life less stressful and improve our employees’ mental well-being:
- For those enrolled in our health plans, we have covered telehealth and virtual visits for physical and mental health at 100% since March 18, 2020. This coverage continues through July 31, 2021.
- In addition to coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment, we have provided paid time off for those who have been vaccinated, plus sick time for anyone who experiences side effects from their vaccination.
- We enhanced our paid leave program, providing up to six weeks of time off at 100% of base pay plus making improvements for those who need to take a leave of absence for mental health reasons.
- We introduced Wellthy, a personalized caregiving support service which helps employees tackle the logistical and administrative tasks of caring for loved ones.
- Omada helps employees and dependents on our health plans prevent or manage diabetes and hypertension.
- The Best Buy HOPE Fund offers grants to employees experiencing financial hardship due to unforeseen circumstances.
That’s in addition to the following existing mental health benefits:
- All employees and everyone in their household are eligible for up to eight no-cost virtual or in-person counseling sessions per event per year through Life Solutions, the Best Buy Employee Assistance Program.
- Life Solutions includes access to myStrength, a digital platform that offers interactive programs, tools and resources to help employees learn, grow, find inspiration and track progress. It includes material on trauma, intense emotions, stress and anxiety, sleep, grief and more.
- We offer on-site and virtual counseling support for locations responding to natural disasters, death, civil unrest or other critical incidents.
- Leaders and HR professionals throughout the company complete ongoing training and e-learnings to build foundational knowledge about mental health and crisis leadership.
Why it matters
“When it comes to mental health, our goals at Best Buy are simple,” Best Buy Chief Human Resources Officer Kamy Scarlett wrote in a note to employees. “We want to share stories to help break the stigma and ensure you have access to education, training and the resources needed to support you in your personal mental health journey. But most importantly, we want you to know that you are not alone.”
Over the past couple of years, to encourage an open dialogue and reduce mental health stigma, we’ve shared a number of inspiring stories about our employees who have struggled with mental health issues of their own or been an ally for others.
Here are a few of those stories:
- TJ Ellis tried to take his own life when he was 19 years old. Now, as a general manager in the Seattle area, he uses his own life experiences to shape how he cares for his employees.
- Ric Allen took a leave of absence to focus on his mental health, then used Best Buy’s Workplace Accommodation program to arrange a reduced schedule when he returned.
- General Manager Caitlin Waugh went above and beyond the resources offered by Best Buy, seeking out additional training to help her identify, understand and respond to people experiencing mental health crises.
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If you or someone you know is experiencing a suicidal crisis or emotional distress, don’t wait. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.