OASW Applauds Starbucks Canada Decision Re: Mental Health

News Reported on October 7, 2016

The Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) applauds Starbucks Canada for its decision, announced on October 5, 2016, to increase funds for its employees seeking therapy to address mental health concerns. Too often few options are available for those seeking timely therapy through publicly funded services and paying for therapy sessions privately is beyond the reach of many people. Starbucks deserves credit for increasing coverage in their employee benefits plan from $400 to $5,000 annually, for services provided by a Registered Social Worker or Registered Psychologist. By doing so, they clearly recognize that investing in the mental health of their employees is a good business decision. Research actually supports this!

Social Workers provide a vital service to people of all ages and help to bring about real change around the real issues people face. This was, in fact, the focus of our most 2016 Social Work Week celebrations and our campaign "Turn Issues into Answers" that we featured across the GTA and Ontario.

Ontarians are increasingly involved in public conversations about important issues that affect everyone - issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, addictions, bullying, relationship problems and adjusting to life crises. Social workers address all of these pressing "real life" concerns. Our unique expertise and training, as we partner on an individual and societal level, seeks to improve lives.

Starbucks Canada's decision is an important acknowledgement of the critical role Registered Social Workers play in an increasingly complex world.

We hope other employers will follow Starbucks lead and invest in the mental health of their workforce by providing access to social work services.

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