ARLINGTON, VA (July 12, 2022) – Yoga Alliance, the largest nonprofit association representing the international yoga community, announces today the launch of two innovative programs designed to provide mental health and life services to yoga professionals around the globe. Both programs are in partnership with employee assistance program provider Lytle AllOne Health Company.
The organization’s new Member Assistance Program is now a benefit included as part of the Yoga Alliance membership offered at no cost and designed to assist members and their households with access to comprehensive well-being resources, guidance, and support. Additionally, Yoga Alliance Foundation is launching Eka Well-Being Services, a specialized program providing free mental health support to eligible yoga professionals and their families worldwide, regardless of membership, who face racial, economic, or geopolitical challenges to receiving mental health care.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), less than half of adults in the United States who need mental health services and treatment get the help they need. And, in 2021, the American Psychological Association reported increased demand for treatment of anxiety and depression as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The launch of the Member Assistance Program and Eka Well-Being Services also seeks to bridge the gap between traditional mental health treatments and yoga.
“Scientific research has long shown yoga’s multi-faceted ability to improve depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions, illustrating that yoga should be part of the options available to address the complexity of mental health access around the world. Many individuals understand the positive impact yoga can have on one’s mental health, but they are often reluctant to seek out traditional mental health treatment. At the same time, individuals more familiar with traditional treatment, may not consider yoga. With the launch of this program, we’re saying ‘sometimes both are needed, and that’s okay,’” said Dani Hayes, Vice President of Community Engagement at Yoga Alliance. “The pandemic fueled the need to address mental health around the globe, especially among individuals in helping professions. We are proud to partner with Lytle to offer the Member Assistance Program and Eka Well-Being Services as a step toward a more integrated approach to mental health, especially when yoga professionals continue to shoulder and navigate elevated levels of emotional exhaustion and burn-out.”
In the most recent Yoga Alliance member survey, nearly half of its members expressed an interest or a need for mental health and comprehensive well-being support. The Member Assistance Program offers all Yoga Alliance members and members of their households (including immediate family members and partners) access to:
- Mental Health Support: 24/7 phone access to a licensed and/or Master’s level counselor
- Work and Life Services: Access to experts and resources that support life events like elder/adult care, adoption, parenting, childcare, and special needs
- Legal and Financial Services: Industry experts for financial planning, estate planning, bankruptcy, personal injury, and major life event planning
“We know that BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and communities of persons living with disabilities face additional barriers to accessing mental health support. They are also disproportionately impacted by mental health conditions due to racism and discrimination, stigma, limited access to quality care, and a lack of providers with a shared lived experience,” said Kristina Graff, Managing Director of the Yoga Alliance Foundation. “This is a complex, multi-layered public health challenge that requires cross-sector solutions and the Eka Well-Being Services program offers an entry point for those who might not otherwise have access to mental health services.”
Eka Well-Being Services is a specialized program providing free mental health support to all eligible yoga professionals and their households, regardless of Yoga Alliance membership status. Benefits include up to six one-on-one counseling sessions for each member of a household, 24/7 access to a mental health support hotline, support services on work/life issues, and more. Priority for this program is given to those who have historically had minimal or no access to these types of services, including the BIPOC, LGTBQQIA+, and persons living with disabilities. To learn more about the program and application process, visit yogaalliance.org/foundation.
The unique nature of this program and partnership is the first of its kind for Lytle AllOne Health Company.
“Worldwide, an estimated 450 million people have a mental health condition and nearly 90 percent of them aren’t receiving the treatment they need. There’s still a stigma associated with utilizing services and there are too many barriers – time, geography, cost — to getting help. We applaud Yoga Alliance for recognizing this critical need and look forward to a long partnership supporting the global yoga community,” says Beverly Brem, Executive Director, Lytle AllOne Health Company.
In addition to offering these two new programs, Yoga Alliance will continue its focus on mental health and emotional wellness by launching a series of online workshops and conversations to platform the importance of integrative, cross-sector solutions to address the mental health crisis in the United States, and around the globe. To learn more about Yoga Alliance, the Member Assistance Program, and Eka-Well-Being Services, visit yogaalliance.org.
About Yoga Alliance
Founded in 1999, Yoga Alliance is a member-based, non-profit organization that serves yoga schools and teachers across the globe, providing world-recognized, best-in-class credentials and unifying its members around a shared ethical commitment. Yoga Alliance’s goal is to support and foster the high quality, safe, accessible, and equitable teaching of yoga. In addition, Yoga Alliance delivers a strong value proposition to its members through community-building initiatives, educational resources, advocacy efforts, and social impact programs. For more information about Yoga Alliance visit yogaalliance.org.
Toni Carey, Vice President of Strategic Communications