By Amy Halpern
Marcela Compagnet-Orellana, the human resources director at the Rockville nonprofit EveryMind, says there’s a running joke that “nobody would say anything” if an employee wanted to take off on National Margarita Day (Feb. 22).
Employees at EveryMind, which provides mental health counseling and support, get nearly 50 paid days off a year—18 holidays, 12 sick days, 10 vacation days, three personal days, two mental health days, and one day each for volunteer work and to celebrate their birthdays.
And taking time off is encouraged, Compagnet-Orellana says. “If someone isn’t using their PTO, their supervisors will tell them to do so,” she says.
Indrani Dial-Maraj, a manager of crisis prevention and intervention services at EveryMind, often answers the phone for four different hotlines. She says she encourages each caller to engage in their favorite self-care activity right after they hang up. The self-care “action plan” Dial-Maraj discusses with her callers is part of the training she received when she joined EveryMind 17 years ago. She says her employer follows the guidance in supporting its 90-plus employees, making their mental well-being—their self-care—priority one. “If they don’t do it for us,” she says, “what example are we setting for anybody else?”