In an article published in the September / October issue of Current Accounts, the official publication of the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants, Bennett Thrasher’s Marketing Manager Allie Donahue lays out the firm’s summer initiative to raise awareness for mental health wellness in the workplace and to give back to the community.
Mental health wellness can oftentimes be a low priority amid busy lives. Over the summer of 2019, Bennett Thrasher embarked on an initiative that brought mental health wellness to the forefront of the workplace and gave associates a chance to take a break from their daily work stresses before the busier times of the year.
The first part of the initiative included the firm’s BT on the AT Challenge, where associates and staff members participated in seven different hikes on Georgia’s portion of the Appalachian Trail – allowing employees to take a break from work, email and social media to immerse themselves in the tranquil scenery of the trails. During the hikes, participants took part in meditation and other mental health exercises, and got to know their colleagues in ways other than traditional team building activities.
In conjunction with the Appalachian Trail hikes, Bennett Thrasher brought in experts from the local mental health community to the office for open and honest discussions about mental health in the workplace and at home. This included representatives from Skyland Trail, Caron Treatment Centers and Open Arms Counseling Center, LLC, who discussed topics such as stress, addiction and wellness – leading to many eye opening moments for associates. In addition, Bennett Thrasher offered employees the opportunity to give back to the community through the BT Foundation. These volunteer efforts included associates giving their time to Canine Assistants and the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
“Providing associates ith a chance to get out of the office, give back and learn more about mental health led to higher engagement and allowed employees to reconnect in a way atypical to many company summer events,” Allie explains. “Bennett Thrasher associates were able to disconnect on the trail, ask questions about mental health issues that may have been affecting them during the panel discussion and give back to their local community while volunteering. Associates were able to take a break before busier times of the year, get to know their co-workers and more importantly, dig deeper into the mental health stresses that can affect us all.”
The full article may be read in the September / October issue of Current Accounts, which may be accessed online here with a GSCPA membership.