The Cisco IT giant is playing an increasingly active role in providing support to employees who may be dealing with mental health problems in the light of the recent suicide of celebrities.
In an email from Cisco, Cisco's Cisco director, Chuck Robbins, he contacted employees to find out how important it is to solve mental health problems after suicide by Kate Spade and Anthony & # 39; Bourdain's suicide. Robbins, who attended the Cisco Live conference in Orlando, felt compelled to address this issue.
"In light of the recent tragedies, I wanted to step away from Cisco Live for a moment and talk about the importance of mental health," Robbins wrote.
"Unfortunately, we all know friends, family and colleagues fighting mental illness, or maybe you are undergoing your own struggles."
The head of Cisco encouraged employees to "open conversation and extend sympathy" and to "have each other's backs". He also reminded them that professional support is available if they need it.
Robbins' e-mail has received over 100 responses in a few days. Some employees shared their personal struggles with mental health.
In an interview with CNBC, Robbins said he did not understand the size of the problem, but the amount of response they received from their employees helped the company increase its involvement in solving this problem.
Cisco now provides employees with benefits such as anxiety and depression, counseling for employees and their families, meditation and yoga classes, and on-site and health care. The company also offers a paid time off, separate from the employees' holiday leave.
Robbins said he was forced to act when the executive director opened him to a family member who had a mental illness and was potentially suicidal.
"I wanted to help and in this process it became clear to me that this is a terrible situation and I really felt the desperation that people feel," said the CEO.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly one in five adults suffer from mental health problems. The US spends more than $ 200 billion a year on treatments for ailments such as anxiety, stress and depression.