Atria’s Employee Value Proposition – the promises made to each employee for their time and talent – centers on the word thrive.

It states, in part: “For residents to thrive in their homes, employees must also thrive in their work.”

To thrive is to flourish, doing better than just okay, and having the right tools at your disposal to help navigate life’s challenges.

Atria offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) providing five free counseling sessions each year for employees and their immediate family members.

It’s one example of Atria’s commitment to supporting employees – personally and professionally – and breaking down stigmas surrounding mental health issues.

“The pandemic changed a lot,” says Paige Burkey, Atria’s Director of Benefits. “Our EAP predates it by a few years, but the pandemic led us to reassert the role of self-care. We know it’s crucial for resources to be in place so that employees use them proactively.”

The importance of access to professional counseling cannot be overstated. Mental health challenges affect nearly everyone, directly or indirectly.

A 2021 Harvard Business Review study found that 76% of respondents in the workforce reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition.

“The statistics are crystal clear,” Burkey says. “The number one barrier for people accessing mental health support is affordability. Our goal is to remove that barrier so an employee – or a family member – can devote all their energy to whatever challenge they’re facing without added concern.”

Another goal of the program is to reduce lingering stigmas surrounding mental health by normalizing these issues.

By increasing the number of counseling sessions to five each year, it helps encourage regular check-ins with a therapist or counselor instead of waiting for a precipitating event.

Additionally, Atria employees can receive professional help on a range of matters, including legal and financial assistance, and even dietary guidance – all covered by the EAP.

“People’s stresses can be large or small,” Burkey says. “We designed the program to offer robust mental health support, but also to cover targeted stresses like creating a living will or developing a monthly budget. All of life’s nagging issues that cause anxiety, we want an outlet for employees before they feel overwhelmed.”

The Employee Assistance Program is offered with complete confidentiality, addressing another common barrier that prevents individuals from seeking help.

Every employee is unique, and so are their challenges and concerns. Atria’s EAP empowers individuals to take charge of these challenges, to know they’re not alone, and that help is available when and where it’s needed.

“People belong together,” Burkey says. “Those words are key to Atria’s entire mission. For employees, our hope is that personal hurdles can be overcome with a helping hand and a compassionate ear always at their disposal.”