Businesses Championing Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery


Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is necessary for companies—big and small—to be socially aware and accountable, not just to themselves but also to their audiences, consumers, and stakeholders. Traditionally, CSR is broken down into four main subcategories: Philanthropic, ethical, environmental, and economic.

If your company wants to improve your philanthropic or ethical responsibilities, why not champion mental health, holistic wellness, and substance abuse recovery? Businesses need not look far to find people who are struggling in these areas. Here are some corporate social responsibility (CSR) ideas for companies who want to advocate for these causes.

Fundraising for treatment and recovery

Studies show that mental health issues, substance abuse, and alcoholism are more common among members of low-income communities. When people struggle economically, they are more likely to be vulnerable to substance abuse and addiction of many kinds.

Why not help raise funds for the recovery of these Americans in economically-challenged communities? If they have no resources to fund their daily needs, they are unlikely to afford to go to an alcohol rehabilitation or recovery center or even go to a doctor in the first place. One factor of recovery from drug or alcohol addiction is that it can often take a long time, and going to rehab or a treatment facility is a lifeline that many people need. Give lower-income addicts a fighting chance by helping raise funds for their treatment.

Championing prevention through education


Another way businesses can help advocate for mental health and holistic living is by starting conversations around these uncomfortable subjects and destigmatizing them. If your brand has a certain level of influence and engagement, consider coming up with events or marketing campaigns that will not only propel your brand forward but will champion these important causes as well. Here are some ways you can do this:

  • Partner with non-profit or charitable organizations that are known for their work in these issues. They will have more experts that can help educate your team about the nuances of these realities, which can then help the members of your CSR team come up with campaigns and content that are sensitive and relevant and help build up others and achieve your brand’s goals.
  • Consider holding helpful webinars or seminars talking about these issues and how people can take better care of their mental and physical health. You can enlist the help of medical professionals, counselors, survivors, and other relevant individuals to become panelists in the talk.
  • Create a culture of openness and healing in your own company. If you have employees struggling in these areas, they are the first people you should help before you even consider expanding or reaching out to others outside of the business.

Create mental health programs for your employees

Speaking of helping members of the company who are struggling with their mental health or substance abuse, companies must help those under their wing before they even begin looking to help outsiders. One way to support employees’ mental health is by employing a holistic wellness strategy. Here are some practical ways this can play out:

  • Look at your employees’ entire well-being. This means not looking at them as mere tools for productivity that can help move your company forward but as human beings with physical, emotional, social, mental, and fiscal needs.
  • Foster emotional support by creating channels through which your team can voice their concerns regarding their mental health. This can come in the form of a point person who can help connect them with upper management if necessary—preferably someone from human resources (HR)—if they need a mental health break.
  • Create opportunities for physical wellness, like fun office workout activities that everyone can participate in. You can do a marathon or something like a team-building day when everyone can show off their athletic skills. These events can help fill their social needs as well. Another option is a gym reimbursement plan.
  • For your more extroverted employees, an after-office get-together for dinner could be a fun activity for everyone to get to know each other better.
  • To support their fiscal health, you can also offer retirement savings like stock options or a 401(k), which can help boost their confidence in terms of long-term saving and preparing for their future.

In a time like 2021, mental health and recovery from substance abuse are as much of a humanitarian crisis as other issues, and those who do not have the resources for health and healing are most negatively impacted. Let your company be a force for good during these difficult times.


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