Amazon Introduces New Mental Health Benefit

A week after the launch of Amazon’s WorkingWell health program, the e-commerce giant is introducing a new mental health benefit. Resources for Living provides every U.S. employee, their families and their households with a single place to start for personalized, convenient and confidential support for mental health and daily life assistance.

According to the Alexandria, Va.-based Mental Health America, more than 26 million adults went untreated for mental health concerns in the United States in 2020. Additionally, a recent survey by the Washington D.C.-based American Psychological Association showed that 48% of parents have more stress in their personal lives now than before the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Amazon’s new services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and include access to free counseling sessions in person or via phone, video or text. 

“Easy and affordable access to mental health care has become increasingly important as we all continue to navigate different everyday challenges,” said Beth Galetti, Amazon SVP of people eXperience and technology. “Providing access to — and awareness around — mental health care is a critical responsibility for employers. This new offering will help us remove barriers and unnecessary stigma around getting help, to ensure our employees and their families feel safe and supported.”

“It is critically important that employers like Amazon evaluate and expand their programs and put a more significant focus on the mental health and mental well-being of their employees, especially as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic and begin to re-enter the workplace,” said Daniel H. Gillison Jr., CEO of the Arlington, Va.-based National Alliance on Mental Illness. “Employers bear a responsibility to ensure access to and provide adequate mental health services to their employees. It is good for their workers, and it is good for business.”

Through the Resources for Living program, Amazon employees, their families and anyone living in their homes have access to the following:

  • Free one-on-one counseling sessions — three sessions per person, per topic. Amazon will fund up to 24 million counseling sessions per year for its U.S. employees.
  • Flexible options, including in-person, phone, video or text conversations for counseling sessions.
  • Interactive self-care programs, including self-assessments and a stress resource center.
  • Crisis and suicide-prevention support, and access to a licensed mental health clinician any time of day.
  • Access to a self-paced app that offers computerized cognitive behavior therapy, mindfulness resources, and personalized support for a broad range of mental health-and-wellness issues.

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2021 PG 100 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods, wholly owned by Amazon, is No. 24 on PG’s list. Robust consumer demand kept Amazon in record-setting territory during the first quarter, as the company logged a 44% year-over-year revenue increase, and profits more than tripled to $8.1 billion.