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Using Gift Cards to Support Mental Health Initiatives in the Workplace

Posted, by Deborah Merkin
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In today's fast-paced and high-pressure work environment, prioritizing employee mental health has never been more critical. According to a recent Gallup survey, 40% of sampled American workers reported that their job had a negative impact on their mental health. In a post-pandemic world, mental health has become front and center not just for individuals in their private lives, but as a component of their professional experiences.  

Benefits packages often now include mental health services that extend beyond traditional health insurance. Employers and benefits administrators are toiling over how to care for employee mental health, while maintaining benefits budgets. In this complex environment, what if there was a simple, innovative, and engaging solution to support your employees' mental wellbeing while boosting workplace productivity? Enter the power of gift cards.   

Discover how companies are transforming the mental health landscape and fostering a culture of wellness by harnessing the versatility and appeal of gift cards to promote employee self-care and mental health initiatives. Read on to learn how your business can unlock the potential of gift cards to create a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce.  


How to Support Mental Health at Work with Gift Cards  

When considering how to improve mental health in the workplace using gift cards, businesses can take several approaches:  

Incentivize participation in mental health programs: Offer gift cards as rewards for employees who engage in company-sponsored mental health initiatives, such as workshops or counseling sessions.  

Recognize milestones in personal growth: Use gift cards to acknowledge employees who achieve personal wellness goals or demonstrate considerable progress in managing stress or other mental health challenges. 

Promote work-life balance: Encourage employees to use gift cards for self-care activities outside the workplace, such as fitness classes, relaxation techniques, or hobbies that contribute to mental well-being. Consider gift cards for brands like Soothe and Spa Week for relaxation services or CVS Select® and Walmart Healthy Living for health products. 

Foster a sense of purpose and community: Empower employees to give back with gift cards to CharityChoice. With a CharityChoice gift card, recipients can gift the balance of their card to a charity of their choosing, cultivating a sense of fulfillment and community within your employees. 

The inclusion of gift cards can help support both personal and workplace wellness. Not sure where to start? The Engage2Reward™ Gift Card Ordering Platform provides several features that make starting a mental health and wellness incentive and reward program easy for your HR team and your employees.  

Engage2Reward platform dashboard on mobile phone and desktop computer

The Engage2Reward Platform offers multiple options for integrating the gift card program into your broader employee incentive and rewards, including both physical and digital gift card delivery options, and an API for integrating gift card distribution with existing reward and incentive platforms.  

With fast, easy account setup, and flexible offerings from over 300 brands, including wellness centered brands, getting started with gift card distribution is a breeze. Read on to learn how clients are leveraging these powerful features in their mental health initiatives in the workplace.

Success Stories

Organizations are leveraging gift cards to nurture a culture of mental wellbeing among their employees. From incentivizing participation in wellness programs to recognizing personal growth milestones, these stories underscore the transformative power of gift cards in fostering a healthy work environment.

Aluminum Glass & Door, Inc: Incentivizing Wellness  

Aluminum Glass & Door, Inc. has adopted gift cards as part of its health and wellness platform for employees. The company's goal is to incentivize employees to participate in wellness programs, ensuring they reap the full benefits of these initiatives. The company's proactive approach to mental health support helps create a positive work environment and fosters a more balanced and resilient workforce.  

La Costa Canyon High School Men's Lacrosse: Encouraging Staff  

La Costa Canyon High School's Men's Lacrosse team has integrated gift cards into their staff health and wellness programs, aiming to motivate high-level achievement and longevity. This initiative has proven effective in fostering a supportive and healthy atmosphere among staff members, contributing to overall well-being and success.  

The Carlstar Group: Recognizing Employee Participation  

The Carlstar Group has utilized gift cards to acknowledge employees who actively participate in health and wellness alternatives. This approach not only rewards employees for their dedication to self-care but also inspires others to follow suit. By recognizing employees' efforts in prioritizing their mental health, The Carlstar Group fosters a workplace culture that values well-being and encourages personal growth.  

The Benefits of Using Gift Cards for Mental Health Support  

Businesses that use gift cards for mental health support can reap numerous benefits, including:  

  • Improved Workplace Productivity: Employees with access to mental health resources are more focused and engaged, resulting in increased productivity.  
  • Reduced Absenteeism: Mental health support can help minimize absenteeism, leading to a more stable and reliable workforce.  
  • Lower Healthcare Costs: By addressing mental health concerns early, businesses can potentially reduce the overall healthcare costs associated with stress-related illnesses and conditions, especially work-related stress.  
  • Enhanced Employee Satisfaction: A supportive work environment that values mental health can lead to higher employee satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.  

Promoting a Supportive Work Culture: Tips for Employers  

In addition to using gift cards for mental health support, employers can take further steps to create a supportive work culture:  

  • Prioritize mental health awareness: Educate managers and employees on the importance of mental health and provide resources to help recognize and address issues.  
  • Create a safe environment: Encourage open communication about mental health concerns and ensure employees feel comfortable discussing their needs without fear of judgment or retaliation.  
  • Offer comprehensive benefits packages: Consider including mental health services and resources in your employee benefits packages, such as access to counseling or stress reduction programs.  




Using gift cards to support employee mental health is an innovative and effective strategy for businesses looking to promote workplace wellness and foster a supportive work culture. By incentivizing participation in mental health initiatives and recognizing employees' dedication to self-care, companies can help create a more resilient, productive, and satisfied workforce, while acknowledging employees’ personal health challenges.  

In a survey of 152 large U.S. based employers, 77% indicated an increase in mental health issues over the course of last year, and those are only the employees who made those issues known to employers. Statistics like this demonstrate that we cannot ignore mental health in the workplace.  

Used in combination with other strategies like flexible work arrangements and comprehensive benefits packages, gift cards can play a crucial role in addressing employee mental health and ensuring a healthy work environment for all.  

Ready to get started? Contact us today to learn how we can empower you to improve the mental health of your workforce.


Topics: Workplace Health & Wellness, General Health & Wellness, Health Incentives, Employee Incentives & Rewards

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