Supporting the ‘Heart & Soul’ of Spotify

October marks Mental Health Awareness Month. At Spotify, we know it’s important not only to recognize this day, but to commit to the emotional health of our employees throughout the year. Mental health issues or addiction affect most of us at some point in life, either directly or through someone we love—sometimes even through the music and personal stories of our favorite artists.

Our goal at Spotify is to foster a culture of awareness, acceptance, sensitivity, and support around issues such as depression, anxiety, and addiction—a culture where we can all embrace our identities, look after ourselves and each other, thrive, and be our best.

Earlier this year, we launched Heart & Soul, a mental health initiative, to provide the best possible support for our employees and to promote deep knowledge about emotional well-being among all at Spotify.

It’s important to focus on mental health in all aspects of our lives—and even more so in the workplace. We spend 35 percent of our waking hours at work. That means the environment we work in matters to our emotional well-being. And if we’re dealing with mental health issues in our everyday lives, they follow us to the office.

While we can’t diagnose mental illness or recommend specific treatment options, a company like ours can take the initiative in building knowledge and reducing stigmas, creating a culture of acceptance, and encouraging better understanding of conditions, symptoms, and warning signs. We can also make sure our employees are trained in tools that support self-care.

Our Heart & Soul support network starts with our employees. We provide a wide range of training on subjects like inclusion, unconscious bias, and warning signs for substance abuse and how to support someone who suffers from it. We not only want to erase the stigma surrounding mental health, but wish to enable people to recognize when someone is in need and how to offer tools and treatment—whether that’s through the self-care activities that we offer or by seeking professional help.

Leading the way are our Heart & Soul ambassadors, employees from all over the organization who work to engage others and help all employees feel included in our wellness vision. Ambassadors promote emotional fitness, drive awareness, and build community while providing us with a ground-level perspective that will help our initiative grow and improve. They also lead the way in assembling our self-care database, a resource our employees can access whenever they need it.

Every day we pave our way in music, culture, and technology—and we want to do the same for the health of our employees. That means fostering a holistic environment that erases stigma and promotes understanding so we can each bring our whole selves to work. Wellness is key for all of us to thrive in the long term, and it is our duty to help everyone feel supported.