Mental Health Awareness Month
Employee Mental Health

How Affirm Takes Care of Their Employee’s Wellbeing

May 30, 2024

As part of Tava Health’s Employee Mental Health initiative for Mental Health Awareness Month, we interviewed individuals who are building exceptional mental health benefits for employees.

In this interview, Tava heard from Olivia Chuan, Tyler Ouillette, and Andrea Morales of Affirm’s Benefits and HR team. They shared insight into how Affirm prioritizes its employees' mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Month takes place every May, and this year, Tava Health focuses on “Employee Mental Health.” As part of our campaign, we’re taking the entire month to highlight different HR and benefits leaders who are making huge impacts on the mental health of their employees. You can read all the stories here.

How does your company actively promote mental health awareness and destigmatization in the workplace?

Affirm is dedicated to fostering a positive mental health environment at work. We partner with Employee Resource Groups, host insightful webinars, and have many senior leaders willing to discuss their mental health journeys. Plus, we have designated time off for mental health days. We want Affirmers to feel supported with their mental well-being front and center.

What specific initiatives or programs has your HR department implemented to support employees' mental well-being?

We re-characterized "sick days" into "Health Days" because mental health is just as important as physical health. Plus, we're passionate about breaking down barriers to therapy—our mental health benefit offers 12 free therapy sessions for employees and their dependents. We have unlimited mental health support in and out-of-network through our medical plans.

How do you ensure managers and employees have access to resources and support for mental health concerns?

At Affirm, we're committed to ensuring that both managers and employees have the resources and support they need for mental health concerns. Our comprehensive benefits website offers a one-stop destination for all relevant information. We provide manager guides, equipping them to effectively address mental health concerns within their teams. Communication is key, so we've established a dedicated benefits Slack channel where important updates and event reminders promoting employee well-being are shared regularly.

We offer 24/7 access to our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) partner's digital exercises and direct messaging with a provider, ensuring our employees can reach out for help whenever they need it. We believe in fostering a culture where mental health support is easily accessible and prioritized for everyone in our organization.

How do you measure the effectiveness of your mental health initiatives and ensure they are meeting the needs of your diverse workforce?

Ensuring our mental health initiatives hit the mark means gathering input, both internally and externally. We're not just guessing - we're tapping into industry benchmarking to learn from best practices. We collect feedback from employees, informing us about what's working and what needs tweaking. And, of course, we keep an eye on engagement metrics and claims data to paint the full picture.

Have you encountered any challenges in implementing mental health support programs, and how have you addressed them?

Navigating mental health support programs across our global workforce has been more of a learning curve than a challenge. Diverse cultures come with varied perspectives on mental health, so we're constantly fine-tuning how we communicate resources to meet everyone's needs.

When it comes to benefit offerings, Affirm has always been at the forefront. We're proud to lead the pack, being (to our knowledge) only one of two companies within a major national medical carrier to provide out-of-network mental health coverage on the EPO plan. It's all about staying innovative and ensuring our employees have access to the best support possible.

What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to prioritize mental health within their own organizations?

If you're an HR leader who wants to make mental health a priority in your organization, here's how: Get senior leaders on board. Help them understand that mental health isn't just a personal matter; it ripples through every aspect of productivity and well-being. Once they're on the same page, the rest will fall into place.

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