Booz Allen Hamilton
Mental Health Program Summary: Booz Allen Hamilton
For more than 100 years, business, government and military leaders have turned to Booz Allen Hamilton to solve their most complex management and technology problems. We create value from tomorrow’s technology today, applying a combination of consulting, analytics, digital solutions, engineering and cyber expertise. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, our firm employs more than 25,000 people across the globe.
Mental health and emotional wellness are at the core of our people programs. Through leadership development that focuses on building up our people and health and wellness programs that empower, employees are provided with the tools to change the world. For those experiencing mental health conditions, we aim to provide personalized care, resources to reduce stress, and a compassionate support system to ensure they get the help they need. We focus on fostering holistic health and well-being. Our goal is to increase awareness about the importance of mental health, reduce stigma, and provide employees with the tools they need to improve their mental well-being.
To support our global workforce, we take a high-touch and high-tech approach to promote total physical, emotional, and financial wellness and reduce the stigma around mental health. Our PowerUP program, for example, provides opportunities throughout the year to practice healthy habits and build resilience. In addition, we have partnered with a resilience training website, MeQuilibrium, to provide online stress management and skills programs to all employees and their spouses/domestic partners, regardless of health care plan. Employees who participate in our annual emotional wellness challenge are rewarded with an $150 contribution to their HSA. In 2015, Booz Allen partnered with the Campaign to Change Direction (CCD), adopting resources from CCD’s five signs of emotional suffering campaign. The campaign has created a common language for talking about mental health issues at the firm and has reinforced an institutional culture that puts people’s well-being at the center.
At the core of our business are our leadership philosophy, employee value proposition and purpose statement: “Empower People to Change the World.” Our leadership philosophy commits leaders to revere our people, to be personally invested in their success and to provide them with a supportive culture to be themselves. When an employee experiences a mental health issue, their leadership team and the Booz Allen First Responders (HR community, Legal, Employee Relations, Security) make the biggest impact. That is why we dedicate time and resources to training to ensure that our leaders promote positive mental health. Leadership are educated on how to prevent unhealthy work behaviors that cause stress and how to spot warning signs of emotional suffering using the five signs. They are also equipped with effective practices to reintegrate and employ people who have experienced mental health problems.
The most valuable resource for many employees is our Disabilities Accommodations Team (DAT). Employees may request assistance from DAT and be assigned a case manager to create a plan and arrange workplace accommodations that help them perform their work, while managing their mental health needs. Each plan is tailored to the employee’s medical needs and designed to promote workplace success and productivity. In accordance with recommendations from a health care provider, as well as the desires of the individual, our accommodation specialists help implement workplace accommodations, ranging from equipment to flexible work schedules.
For the past two years, Booz Allen leaders, including our CEO and Chief People Officer, have sponsored and championed the Emotional Wellness Symposium. At the symposium, leaders, employees, and external experts share stories and resources on coping with mental and emotional challenges. As leaders model unflinching courage and talk about their own personal journeys with mental health, they set a tone for openness and understanding across the firm. Put simply, our leaders show that at Booz Allen we care about and empower one another.
The support we provide includes medical and specialist care. We provide 8 free counseling sessions per mental health event for employees and dependents, and expert advice through our EAP. Mental health services and medical coverage are included in our company health care plans. Additional online resources are available 24/7, such as meditation and mindfulness practices for stress reduction through Castlight and resources on dealing with life events through Lifeworks.
While promoting positive mental health is a good business practice (reduces health care costs and improves retention), we measure success by how healthy and empowered our people are. We believe we are making progress in destigmatizing mental health issues, as evidenced in the increased use and participation in our mental health programs. For example, we’ve seen an increase in the use of the EAP, and in 2017, employee inquiries about mental health resources more than doubled from the prior year to more than 16,000 inquiries by phone and online. We also expanded the range of wellness offerings from largely physical wellness programs to a variety of emotional wellness offerings such as yoga, meditation and the Emotional Wellness Symposium. These new offerings yielded an additional 1,000 employees engaged in mental and emotional wellness programming, with participation totaling approximately 37 percent of the workforce. Our leaders and managers have also reported an increase in conversations and inquiries about accommodations and mental health in general. We consider this increase a positive indicator that employees are seeking the assistance they need to improve their overall health through firm-provided resources.
To sustain momentum, we’ve incorporated a mental health and emotional wellness training into our mandatory annual ethics and compliance training for all leaders.
We care about our employees and want to provide them with the resources they need to live their best lives. This is why we strive to increase awareness about the importance of mental health, reduce stigma, and provide employees with the tools they need to improve their mental well-being.
President and CEO
Booz Allen Hamilton