ESPN has always emphasized wellness. Like many companies, the sports-journalism and entertainment giant focused on traditionally familiar wellness elements. The company’s main campus in Bristol, Connecticut, has its own gym. There were group exercise classes, and other exercise programs employees could do on their own schedules. There was a nutrition coach and an employee 5k race. There were meditation and mindfulness programs.
Still, before the pandemic, ESPN was already moving in some interesting directions. In November 2019 it created an internal mental-health community and discussion group called ESPN T.R.U.S.T., an acronym for Talk, Recognize, Understand, Support and Triumph.
“We’re focused on mental health awareness because mental well-being is a part of who we are as humans,” Jena Janovy, senior deputy editor with ESPN’s Digital Storytelling Group and espnW, said in an interview earlier this year. “These issues are part of our world, and it’s important that we reflect that. With greater awareness can come greater understanding, empathy, and acceptance.”