October 6, 2016 9:28 pm
Updated: October 6, 2016 9:30 pm

Starbucks Canada boosts mental health benefits to $5K per year

File: Starbucks cups

AP Photo/Elise Amendola
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Starbucks Canada has increased its mental health benefits to $5,000 per year for its employees.

The move comes during Mental Illness Awareness Week, which aims to remove the stigma associated with mental illness.

Starbucks said all of its Canadian employees who work a minimum of 20 hours per week will be eligible for the benefit boost.

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“The statistics are very clear that mental health is an important issue that is affecting many Canadians,” Sara Presutto, vice president of human resources with Starbucks Canada, said in a media release.

“We do not believe the current level of support for mental health benefits provided by Canadian employers is sufficient and we encourage all companies in Canada to step up and join this important effort.”

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The average age of Starbucks employees is 24, and the company said the increased benefit will help with early intervention when it comes to mental health.

“Given most adults spend more of their waking hours at work than anywhere else – and with many youth holding at least part-time jobs – addressing issues of mental health at work is vitally important,” Louise Bradley, president and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, said. “The progressive action taken today by Starbucks Canada demonstrates leadership and sets a bar to which all employers can aspire.”

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Starbucks Canada said the $5,000 mental health benefit will allow for longer-term treatment, rather than just a few visits per year.

Starbucks provides full-time benefits to all its employees who work at least 20 hours per week.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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