Movement Strategy's push for mental health beyond one week

"Our goal is to keep mental health at the forefront of all of our initiatives and to provide a consistent flow of resources."

Mental Health Awareness Week kicks off on Monday, but what happens once the seven days are over? Social media marketing agency Movement Strategy plans on helping staffers alleviate stress and improve mental well-being all week – and beyond.

To kick things off, the shop held a "Mindfulness and Meditation Workshop" last week for employees. Next up, Yoga sessions with certified instructors will be held across Movement Strategy’s offices throughout May, as well as "Clarity Sessions" for staffers with certified holistic health and declutter coaches. The sessions, which are 50 minutes long, include private Skype meetups with the coach to help employees identify their visions – or what brings them genuine joy - and figure out actionable ways to get closer to them.

"I understand that work creates a lot of stress for employees - especially at agencies. Since starting the People and Culture department at Movement Strategy in the latter half of 2018, one of my priorities has been giving employees the resources to cope with that stress," said Colette Gardner, head of people and culture at the agency. "Individuals tend to not make their mental health a priority nor do they know where to start. Movement Strategy wants to be a place where we make these resources accessible. For us, our goal is to keep mental health at the forefront of all of our initiatives and to provide a consistent flow of resources."

Most importantly, Movement Strategy is now offering an Employee Assistant Program benefit in which talent is fully covered for phone services to legal, financial, work-life services and mental health counseling. The benefit also includes six in-person sessions per issue each year, which can assist with anything from family issues and work-life stress to addictions and relationship stress and beyond.

"I think there’s a tendency for people to get caught up in the daily hustle and just feel like the stress and anxiety of work is a necessary evil to be successful. That’s not the agency environment we set out to create when we started the company 11 years ago. Quite the opposite actually," said Eric Dieter, COO and co-founder of the shop.

He added: "‘Success’ to us is measured by our people feeling supported at work, proud of the work they do and that their life outside of work is fruitful. Since starting the company, even at times when we couldn’t necessarily afford it, we always prioritized the things that would help alleviate stress and improve mental well-being."

While "wellness" used to focus on things like flexible Fridays or bonuses, Dieter said it’s now much broader and inclusive, and the agency plans on looking at this "as an ongoing priority where we should constantly do more for our people."

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