Brain with gears Sutter Health,Bank of America, Walgreens, Levi Strauss & Co. and the state ofCalifornia are among the employers that have signed onto acharter aimed at improving mental wellness. (Image:Shutterstock)

In the middle of a work project at a global corporate consultingfirm, Katherine Switz was gripped with a debilitating bout ofanxiety. Her body froze, her heart raced, her chest tightened, andher mind went blank, which made it nearly impossible for her toconcentrate on a computer screen and do her work.

The anxiety lasted three months, likely related to her bipolardisorder. During that time, she felt unable to ask for help from her employers or co-workers,afraid that her poor performance would get her fired or passed overfor promotion.

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