As Winter Nears, This Company Is Ramping Up Employee Mental Health Support

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More than 10 million Americans experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) every year, according to Boston University. 

That’s without a pandemic.

SAD, also known as the “winter blues,” is a common form of depression that flares up with the changing of seasons and causes daytime fatigue, an increased appetite and feelings of sluggishness and sadness.

As winter approaches, people susceptible to SAD will also have to manage the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. Feelings of isolation are bound to intensify as the need for social distancing makes the holidays even more difficult for some. 

However, there are ways to treat SAD. 

Michael Terman, a professor of clinical psychology in psychiatry at Columbia University, told Health Matters, a publication for NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, that light therapy, getting a good night’s rest and eliminating screen time before bed can help combat SAD.

For those working remotely, Leanna Lee and Mike Veny, who host a podcast on mental health, recommend establishing morning and end-of-work routines to create boundaries between personal and work times. Lee and Veny also encourage employees to be candid with their managers about taking time off to preserve their mental wellness. 

At companies like Unity, leaders are quick to approve those time-off requests, as concerns for employee mental health remain front and center amid work-from-home sanctions. 

Shoua Draeger, Unity’s global benefits manager, said the 2D and 3D content creation platform will continue to offer flexible work hours and PTO as part of its holistic approach to supporting employee mental and …

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