I can clearly remember the day when prioritizing mental health became personal for me.
I was about to receive a wire for a $2 million round of funding when, at the 11th hour, the lead investor for my first startup pulled out. No warning – just a quick call from his assistant to let me know that he’d changed his mind and the deal was off. “Happy holidays!” they said cheerfully, and hung up.
That was it. It was over.
There was no money left, and instead of starting the holidays on a triumphant high, I had to make myself call all my team members and tell them that they were now out of a job, two days before Christmas.
I had failed spectacularly, and life was looking incredibly uncertain and overwhelming.
My wife was about to deliver our first child in a few short weeks, and I now had no way to provide for my growing family. I was exhausted and defeated, and didn’t know what I was going to do next.
But I wasn’t alone. Through it all, I was lucky enough to have the never-wavering support of my wife and family, and I held on to the belief that in this critical life moment, one that could make or break us, as long as I didn’t give up, I would make it. But having a support system who loved me and willing myself to believe that things would work out didn’t magically cure my feelings of guilt, fear, and depression.
Though I felt completely alone, my feelings were not unique. One in every three people experiences a mental health challenge at some point in their lives, regardless of age, gender, and race. And especially when you’re making a major life change like trying to start a business or break into a new industry, feelings of stress, depression, and burnout can be all too common.
Breaking into a new industry is challenging. Our students come to us from a variety of backgrounds to learn a new skill set, build a new network, and search for jobs in a field they’re unfamiliar with. The first few months at Lambda School are exciting and high-energy, but we understand that at times, they may also feel isolating and overwhelming.
Lambda School students trust us to take them on a transformational life journey – one that will relaunch them into a new career, financial possibilities and opportunities.
But it’s a journey that we know pushes them, often more than they thought possible.
The schedule is grueling, the material is challenging and it takes grit, commitment, and resilience to make it through.
I know from your tweets, Slack messages and emails that many of our students are also facing challenges at home, with their partners or families, their health, and their finances.
All of this adds to the daily stress, pressure and anxiety, and I knew we needed to give our students a better support system to address these and other mental wellness challenges.
Today Lambda School is announcing a new partnership with Modern Health to give our staff and students access to resources that help support personal well-being and mental health, including personalized assessment, evidence-based digital healthcare, and access to licensed coaches and therapists. This partnership will assist our students and staff with eight areas of wellness: Work Performance, Stress & Anxiety, Healthy Lifestyles, Financial Wellbeing, Belonging and Inclusion, Life Challenges, Mindfulness and Meditation, and Relationships.
Every Lambda student and employee will now have access to the Modern Health app, where they can schedule up to 6 virtual visits a year with a professional coach of their choice, as well as up to 6 visits a year with a licensed therapist, at no cost. The new benefit plan also includes unlimited texting with a professional coach and full access to a vast library of digital courses for building resilience and tools for managing stress, as well as crisis prevention services, if needed.
We chose to partner with Modern Health because of the range of options it gives our students and team. Modern Health takes a personalized approach to mental wellbeing, has resources available on-demand, and includes high-touch engagement and support.
For many of our students, this is the first time they have had access to mental health tools and resources.
I’d like to personally encourage each of you to make Modern Health part of your routine – book sessions with a therapist, calendar to try meditation resources an online wellness program to improve your mental health.
Just as you go for a run or hit the gym to take care of your body, you should check in with your emotional and psychological state often, even when you’re feeling well.
We only succeed when all of us, students and staff, are at our best, physically, emotionally, and mentally. Lambda School is a community that lifts each other up. Our teachers, our coaches, our team are here for you.
And most of all, Lambda School students are here for each other. Together, you form a community of support that understands the challenges, setbacks and triumphs you each face – something that your personal family or friends, no matter how much they love you may not fully appreciate.
We believe that helping foster better mental well-being in our community is the best investment we can make. If you’re a Lambda School student, we encourage you to invest in your personal well-being and take advantage of the new wellness benefits offered through Modern Health. Like your relationship with your doctor, the Modern Health platform is fully confidential – they will never share your personal information or usage with outside parties, including Lambda School.
Thank you for helping us make Lambda School a better, healthier place to launch a new career.
Austen Allred, CEO and Co-founder of Lambda School