PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As a result of Simone Biles’ willingness to put her mental health first, many have focused on the importance of mental wellbeing. Two local companies have made employee mental health a business priority.
It’s the height of busy season for Lokal Artisan Foods, the creator of French Toast Bites, but the owner decided it was time to shut down for a day to have a mental health forum with employees.READ MORE: Bucks County Couple Taking Part In Coast-To-Coast Bike Ride In Effort To Raise Money For Cancer Research
“It ain’t slowing down anytime soon, so I got to make sure they’re with me,” Charisse McGill said.
So, McGill assembled her staff at Yards Brewing Company for their first “Mental Health Tap In.” A therapist helped guide the hours-long session, and employees were able to unpack their feelings in a safe setting.
“In the Black community, therapy is taboo. They don’t feel comfortable talking, especially the guys so I wanted to make it engaging for them so that way they feel comfortable,” Deana Davis with Davis & Assoc. Counseling Services said.
The majority of employees at Lokal Artisan Foods are teenagers.READ MORE: Police: Man Killed, 5 Others Injured In Drive-By Shooting In Philadelphia’s Logan-Ogontz Neighborhood
McGill says it’s important for her to be proactive and not reactive.
“Mental health is health,” she said, “So I want to make sure they’re physically fit and fit in their mind also to be able to carry out the duties given uncertain times.”
While the conversation surrounding mental health is at the forefront, they made sure to drive their point home.
“If you’re not well, or if you’re feeling like you’re off for the day, let your boss know, let somebody know that I’m not feeling well today. It’s OK. We don’t have to push ourselves to the max for the sake of work or the Olympics or whatever the case is. It’s OK to take a break.”
There are other employers in the city that have the same idea. At the onset of the pandemic, the owner of Skai Blue Media hire a therapist that knows how to guide people working in high-stress environments.MORE NEWS: CVS Plans To Hire 25,000 Workers During 1-Day Virtual Career Event Friday
Even before that, they would allocate Skai Blue Shutdown Days, also known as mental health days for employees.