Express Scripts is a health care opportunity company. Our legacy as an industry innovator provides us with the foresight to recognize potential where others see problems – potential for safer, more affordable care and better health for all. Every day, we actively expose opportunities to unlock new value through our specialized expertise, deep insights, active listening and meticulous data analysis. We take on the toughest challenges in health care wherever they arise, with unwavering focus and a tenacious determination that never fades. In working alongside our clients and partners, we continue to innovate and reach toward getting better, together by developing personalized solutions that make a meaningful difference for our 100 million members. At Express Scripts, we are “all in” for our patients, and that includes many of our 27,000 employees. In alignment with the national conversation surrounding mental health awareness, Express Scripts remains dedicated to providing resources and tools to educate our employees about mental illness in the workplace and beyond.
Overall Approach to Mental Health
This September, Express Scripts introduced #StampOutStigma, a campaign that is devoted to reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness. As an organization, #StampOutStigma represents our commitment to raising awareness about mental health issues and removing barriers to treatment for our employees. Over the past several months, Express Scripts has offered live, interactive webinars facilitated by GuidanceResources® behavioral health professionals, which allow employees to learn more about various mental health topics. By taking part in these webinars, our employees have come together to align our corporate values with our #StampOutStigma initiatives, further developing our culture of inclusion on behalf of those with mental illness.
Building a Culture that Supports Mental Health
To promote our #StampOutStigma webinar series, we leveraged our Recognition Rx program to incentivize employee participation. When an employee registers and attends any of the monthly webinars, s/he is entered into the webinar session’s sweepstakes drawing. The winners of the drawing each month win 100 Award Points. Using these points, employees may purchase items from company’s Recognition Rx store or provide donations to charitable organizations.
As a follow-up to the webinar, employees also have access to send #StampOutStigma cards to leaders and other employees, recognizing their contribution to “stamping out the stigma” of mental illness. These cards are used when a leader allows time for an employee to attend a training or a co-worker uses one of the toolkits on HR Express Way, leads a behavioral health conversation in a meeting or supports others during a difficult time. These #StampOutStigma cards connect awareness with gratitude, encouraging mutual respect and collaboration among co-workers.
Mental Health Programming
In addition to the #StampOutStigma webinar series, Express Scripts provides employees with a “Mental Health Toolkit,” which contains information to aid employees in becoming mental health advocates. These resources include checklists and research-driven insights about mental health issues, such as what to do if someone is contemplating suicide and the warning signs of depression. Furthermore, the GuidanceResources program offers all employees convenient access to confidential counseling. These counselors are certified health professionals available 24/7 to assist advocates and patients with strategies for managing and coping with mental illness. With our “Mental Health Toolkit,” our guiding philosophy of being “all in” for patients informs our multi-faceted approach to employee well-being, reminding those with mental illness that help is always readily available and accessible.
Mental Health Programming Outcomes
Beyond metrics and data points, the real value of our #StampOutStigma campaign reveals itself in the community building that comes with awareness, as recently evidenced in one of our “Post Script” blog posts. The “Post Script” blog is an internal forum where our employees are invited to tell personal stories related to health care topics within the larger Express Scripts community. This November, one of our associates shared her ongoing journey with chronic mental illness. While describing her idyllic childhood, professional achievements and caring family, she also delved into the darkness of severe depression and the shame that often accompanies mental illness. With time, this associate courageously acknowledged her closeted condition and sought out strategies that have allowed her to move forward, understanding that the road to recovery is a lifelong journey. After reading her story, I was struck by the remarkable outpouring of positive support and sincere gratitude from fellow Express Scripts employees and co-workers in the comments section. Within the first day, the post had garnered more than 120 likes and 37 comments. Reading through these comments, I noticed how her courage became contagious, inspiring others to share their story, seek out help and create “a life to love.” Following her example, Express Scripts will continue to raise awareness and reduce anxieties about mental health issues in the workplace and beyond.
President and CEO