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Thrive: Supporting mental health at Asana

May 21st, 2021
3 min read
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Asana is a company that truly believes in helping people thrive, and part of thriving is supporting mental wellness. This year has been difficult to navigate in many ways, which is why we’ve enhanced our mental health programming. 

For Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re holding space to explore how mental health shows up in our lives and what it means to each of us. Our goal is to create a work environment that proactively supports employees’ mental health and overall wellbeing, from our company culture to tangible programs and practices we put in place. Find out how we’re working as a company to reduce the stigma around mental health and give our employees the community, benefits, and programs they need to thrive.

Applying Asana values to mental health

At Asana each of our values helps guide us to achieve our mission. We have nine company values, crafted with intention. From the beginning, we’ve treated company culture as a product: we gather data from our employees, engage in thoughtful design, and iterate regularly. When it comes to mental health, a few values stand out like, Be real (with yourself and others), Mindfulness, and Heartitude.

Mental health benefits to support all Asanas

At Asana we’re building an ecosystem of mental health support. Our benefits are intentionally designed to support people in whatever ways they need, through awareness, healthy practices, skill-building, and 1:1 and group support.

Opportunities for open conversation

Our Real Talk event series encourages authentic discussions on issues that are important to various communities. These are conversations where we create safe spaces to be open, honest, and authentic, while sharing experiences, sparking moments of insight, listening and reflecting.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month this year, we held Real Talk events around the importance of maintaining emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Sonja Gittens Ottley, the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Asana, hosted a panel discussion with folks from across the organization as they shared their experiences around what it’s like to have a mental health diagnosis and how they keep themselves resourced for optimal well-being. 

Asana Circles, which we launched this year, are live group sessions led by Modern Health therapists and coaches, for Asanas only. They are designed to be spaces for us to collectively learn, grow, and connect across topics that impact our day-to-day lives. These events are spaces where folks can feel safe being vulnerable.

Free therapy through Modern Health

Our goal is to help Asanas get easier access to the mental health care that’s right for them. Through Modern Health, Asanas have access to tools related to mental well-being and self-improvement, including: personalized plans, professional support from a dedicated coach or therapist, curated courses, and meditations—plus live community circles.

Conscious Leadership training

In addition to Modern Health, every new Asana goes through Conscious Leadership (CLG) training. CLG offers frameworks, concepts, language, and practices to get unstuck from unhelpful mindsets and move through conflict. It’s all about helping us mindfully transform our emotions, thoughts, and communication styles to enable self-awareness, self-acceptance, and greater, authentic connections with one another.

Executive coaching for personal development

Our 1:1 executive coaching benefit allows all employees access to their choice of a personal or professional coach. We offer six sessions per year for employees and up to nine sessions per year for people managers. The coaches we work with tend to take a “whole person” approach, recognizing the interconnections between professional effectiveness, broader wellbeing, and personal development. 

Live Well program to support a healthy lifestyle

Asana’s culture is about co-creation—another one of our internal values. Employees are encouraged to collaborate with fellow Asanas to create what they want to see. Curated by our own internal Asanas is our Live Well Program, which consists of mental and physical wellness breaks and tips throughout the work week. 

As part of the Live Well program, we schedule recurring events that all Asanas are encouraged to attend during the work day. We know how important it is to have breaks, which is why we offer guided breathwork, yoga, exercise boot camps, and monthly nutrition advice and recipe ideas. During the remote work period, folks are encouraged to turn their cameras off if they prefer and try walking 1:1s. 

Building community around mental health

We recently launched Thrive, our internal mental health community. Thrive is a community for Asanas navigating their own mental health, as well as allies supporting others with their mental health. Thrive’s goals are to: 

  • Create space to speak candidly about mental health and mental illness.

  • Decrease stigma around mental health and mental illness.

  • Provide Asanas with skills and resources to support their own wellbeing and that of others. 

Thrive is a safe, stigma-free space where Asanas can share thoughts, feelings, experiences, and resources related to mental health and wellbeing. Thrive is always encouraging Asanas to submit ideas for future events and support, through the group community forum. 

Supporting each other 

Mental and physical wellness is a core part of our culture and we’ve made a lot of investments in mental health as a way to support our teams through the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe these investments not only are appreciated by employees, but empower everyone to do their best work over the long-term. We’re particularly excited about the opening of our new San Francisco HQ, which will have dedicated wellness zones that promote mindfulness and taking breaks. We have big goals around mental health and are excited for what’s ahead. 

Enhancing productivity through greater mental health and wellbeing

At Asana, it’s up to all of us to be the change we want to see in the workplace. Together, we’re building a better way to work by creating both a product and an organizational culture that supports transparency, trust, and inclusion. 

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