Company Mental Wellness Policy Says ‘It’s Okay to Not Be Okay’ as Long as It’s After Work Hours

A change for the better? A local business has created a new mental wellness policy to ensure that employees struggling with their mental health can do so on their own time.

The Squeaky Wheel visited the office in early May. The company put up several inspirational posters in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, displaying messages such as “Cry on Your Own Time!” and “Mental Health Matters After Hours!”

Human resources manager Ellen Goodwin was particularly excited about the new policy. “As you can see, our company is very aware of mental health,” she said. “I think we are doing a good job at appearing like we care.”

Two years into the pandemic, a growing number of people have experienced mental health crises. We asked what tangible resources the company will provide to those struggling. Goodwin explained that providing access to counseling services or paid leave would conflict with the company’s policy of “checking your emotions at the door,” which has “always been a core value of our company.”

“We take work-related stress very seriously,” Goodwin said. “As in, if you can’t take an endless burden of daily stress, you can’t work here.”

According to Goodwin, staff members have responded well to the new policy. Workers have not shown emotion on the clock in weeks — except for those “pesky few” who have had emotional breakdowns. A few former employees with mental health conditions quit, but the company “didn’t really want them around anyway” so it was considered a “win-win scenario.”

“It’s our company’s dedication to mental wellness that has inspired our employees to hide the pain until they have an unpaid day off,” Goodwin explained enthusiastically. “The threat of being fired also really helps.”

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