One in five Americans will experience a mental illness in any given year. As one of the largest employers in the United States, Walmart has set out to not only spread awareness among its associates about mental health issues, but also ensure that they have skills necessary to aid or even save a life, according to the company.

This spring, Walmart launched Mental Health First Aid training that teaches associates how to identify, understand and respond to people who are struggling with mental health challenges. This four-hour training program, which will be available virtually and in-person at the Bentonville Walmart Home Office, will prepare associates to:

  • Recognize signs and symptoms and provide direct assistance and support
  • Properly reach out to emergency services on someone’s behalf
  • Implement the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan
  • Access emotional well-being benefits and resources

Walmart also offers its employees and their family members 24/7 confidential counseling services with licensed therapist at no cost, and the company recently expanded a pilot program with AiRCare Health that proactively reaches out to associates enrolled in a Walmart medical plan to check in and see how they are doing.

“As a result of the service area expansion to Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Georgia, more than 258,000 associates will benefit from this proactive emotional well-being approach,” according to Walmart. “Well-being is not just the absence of illness — it is the active presence of wellness.”