Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

‘It’s Okay To Not Be Okay’


Cisco initiates conversation to encourage open talks about mental health while enabling people to seek help if needed.

Dailycsr.com – 25 February 2020 –In the “Cisco’s 2019 CSR Report”, the company address the issue of mental health, whereby it assures by saying:
“We want everyone to know that it’s okay to not be okay”.
Cisco is initiating conversations about the issues concerning mental health within its own operations.The company has been working on the same for the past some years and it has prioritise to put an end to the taboo on conversation regarding mental health. Moreover, Cisco also aims to reach out to people and assure them that they can ask for support.
Likewise, the company gave out emails which came from the CEO, Chuck Robbins, addressed the “growing concerns about mental health in society”. In 2018, the said email was sent out to all the employees at Cisco. The email expressed Robbins take on mental health while he presented the concern of the company about its employees who deal with the issue all by themselves. He assured the employees that no one needs to undertake the journey alone.
As a pleasant surprise, the email received overwhelming response as Robbins got over a hundred replies from the employees expressing their gratitude and sharing “stories of themselves and their loved ones”. After this incident, more people have come in front and spoken out about their “personal struggles in company blog posts and the Cisco Beat”. Through this exercise, Cisco became more aware of the issue which had been neglected this far.
According to statistics, nearly one fifth of the U.S. adult population deal with “mental health condition”. And still people do not hold open conversation about the same. However, Cisco has stepped up to break the silence. Furthermore, Cisco added:
“By decreasing the stigma and broadening the resources we offer, we hope to encourage people to get the help they need. And change the conversation about mental health across our industry”.
Here are some of the stepstaken by Cisco to address the mental health issue and raise awareness about the same, as mentioned by Cisco:
  • “The Safe to Talk community on Cisco’s intranet includes videos, links to internal and external resources, and employee stories
  • “On Leader Day, we trained leaders across Cisco on how to recognize signs of mental illness and support their teams
  • “Our CEO has written, spoken, and tweeted publicly about the importance of this issue
  • “In the U.K., mental health “first aiders” help fellow employees access resources”
Moreover, Cisco also mentioned some of the initiatives towards dealing with mental health in its report:
  • “Improving access to care in our largest U.S. medical plans. Employees will now pay the same coinsurance, whether they go in or out of network for mental health treatment.
  • “Offering confidential 24/7 visits with counselors as part of our global Employee Assistance Program, and in-person visits in our LifeConnections health centers. We increased the number of free visits to 10 in the U.S. to align with what we offer globally.
  • “Continuing our support as founder of Connected North, which uses Cisco collaboration technology to deliver mental wellness programming to remote, underserved communities in Canada”.