Let’s not silence mental health at work

Thursday, October 10 is World Mental Health Day

At Spotify, we are acknowledging the day with mental health programming in our offices across the globe. It’s all part of our Heart & Soul long-term strategy and plan for mental health and emotional wellbeing. 

One in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people are suffering from one right now. This puts mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. 800.000 people die by suicide each year. 13% of the world’s population suffer from a substance use disorder. 

Issues are common and big. Unfortunately, so is the silence around matters like these, especially in the workplace, where most of us spend more than a third of our waking time. In the US, only 43% of the people who had a mental disorder in the past year received professional health care or other services (according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness).  

How we mark this day at Spotify

So today, we encourage the entire team to take a little time from their day-to-day to explore a broad range of mental health events and activities. There will be inspirational talks and workshops, mediation and artists sharing both their work and the stories of their own struggles. In many offices it’s possible to meet a counselor right in the office, to make the first step to getting help a little shorter for those who need it. We will share our own stories with one another, in panels, over breakfast, or anonymously. The intention is two-fold: Break the stigma by talking about it, but also make both information and resources available so everyone can take a little better care of themselves and each other. There are both resources for self-care, and access to professional help. 

Some activities and resources are global, but most of the World Mental Health Day activities are local to each office, set up by our Heart & Soul ambassadors, dedicated employees with a special passion for mental health. They have taken on this role next to their day-to-day jobs in the organization, and because they are out there and part of the local team, they know what will make a difference in each office. 

An important part of a much bigger plan

Enabling good mental health is an integral part of our global Diversity & Belonging strategy, which in turn supports our mission as a company. We want to unlock human creativity and to do that we must enable an environment where people can be themselves, feel well, and feel safe and supported in times of adversity.

No matter what experiences you bring with you, the challenges you have gone through or will go through, we want you to belong at Spotify. You should never feel you need to hide parts of yourself in order to fit in. 

That means building a culture of awareness, acceptance, sensitivity, and support instead of stigma around mental health. A culture where we take care of ourselves and each other.