Making Mental Health a Priority at Axon
Oct 01, 2021
At Axon, we recognize that supporting our employees' whole selves is critical to our continued sustainable success. We go beyond PTO, prioritizing emotional and mental wellness that meets employees' needs wherever they are in the world. This isn’t a this-or-that solution, it’s a yes-and solution.
With the impact of COVID-19 on our mental and emotional wellbeing, this is more important now than ever. The Kaiser Family Foundation reported 4 in 10 adults in our country have reported anxiety or depression symptoms during the pandemic, up from 1 in 10 in 2019. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline network received 2.4 million calls in 2020 — the highest in its history. And so in honor of Depression and Mental Health Awareness Month, we'd like to share our efforts to keep mental health issues in the foreground of conversations and focus on how we can help each other every day.
We’re In This Together
If there has been any silver lining to the pandemic, it is the growing acceptance of open conversations about mental health at home and in the workplace.
Dr. Richard Carmona, former Surgeon General under George W. Bush and a member of Axon’s Board of Directors, recently spoke about mental health during the pandemic, and he explained that we are still in the mitigation phase and we need to recognize it’s not just a physical health issue but also a mental health one. COVID fatigue is very real, and as we gain more control over physical health issues, we all need to focus on mental health — no one is exempt.
With our company-wide focus on employee mental health, we're in a better position to support our employees, communicating early and often to ensure they can thrive. We desire to be transparent and authentic with our employee resources, and continue to proactively look for opportunities to expand our offerings. We have added access to Weldon’s expert-led parent webinars and Empower Health's wellness incentive program as part of our updated healthcare benefits. We also offer access for employees and their entire families to an award-winning mental health mobile app, Ginger, which provides on-demand personal care in an app.
Ensuring Access to Mental Health Care
Recognizing and acknowledging that we all need help sometimes is the key to de-stigmatizing mental health.
Our motivation for partnering with Ginger has a lot to do with accessibility and availability, as we know a lot of our employees who are interested in support often can’t access on-site mental health care. With the Ginger app, they can instantly find support. Through real-time chats or video calls, our employees can get advice on how to maintain resilience, counseling on work life and therapeutic support for mental health, including stress, anxiety and depression.
Aimee Bevel, an Axon Quality System Specialist, used the Ginger app after her mother passed away in December of 2020. "My therapist with Ginger has helped me a lot. It works with a busy work schedule and provides reminders and a lot of helpful tools."
Other employees use the app for progress check-ins and utilize the chat function when they need a quick talk through particular anxieties.
"I was intimidated at first and didn't have any clear goals around what I wanted to accomplish, but she walked me through the process and created a very relaxed environment," a corporate recruiter with Axon explained. "Each week, we do progress check-ins and she keeps me on track with meeting my new goals. In addition, the text-based chat function is convenient and easy to fit into my schedule."
"So far in my time with Ginger, I've had help from their coaches on setting personal goals and tips on how to stick to them," one employee said. "For more serious concerns, the therapists are readily available to tackle any issues I want to discuss, whether it's work-related or otherwise. Having that kind of access through the app is reassuring, and I wish more companies offered this service to employees."
We Recognize Global Teams and Support Accordingly
All employees, regardless of location, have access to Ginger’s texting mental health professional function, online events and mental health resources. Axon locations span the globe, with offices in North America, Vietnam, the EU and Australia. As we’ve grown our teams, it’s always been important that our culture transcends borders. When COVID-19 shut our office doors around the world, the leadership team was determined to make every Axon location feel supported even when we could no longer be physically present together, including remote options, care packages and more. We know this sometimes means something different in various regions.
Ginger is a trademark of Ginger.IO, Inc.