April 25, 2016

Commonwealth Psychology Associates (CPA) is the first woman-owned and the first behavioral health organization in the country to sign on with Boston-based Gradifi to introduce a new employee benefit: financial assistance to pay down student loan debt.

CPA is joining the ranks of other progressive companies, including PricewaterhouseCoopers, in leading the charge to promote workplace wellness while also tackling our nation's student loan debt crisis.  CPA believes this innovative solution will immediately improve workplace wellness by reducing the anxiety and stress employees experience when saddled with student loan debt.

Beginning in July 2016, CPA will supplement eligible employees' regular student loan payments with a monthly contribution toward principal through Gradifi's Student Loan Paydown Plan (SLP Plan). CPA was inspired to address the emotional and financial burden of student loan debt after an internal staff survey revealed that CPA's 64 employees carry an above-average amount of student loan debt (SLD), with approximately half reporting that SLD adds "high" to "very high" amounts of stress to their daily lives, has prevented or delayed homeownership, and has caused them to consider relocating to a lower cost area of the country.

CPA Founder & CEO Dr. Andrea Piatt said, "Our staff works every day to help our clients achieve optimal emotional well-being, and we believe it's important to promote those same values among our staff.  When we learned that student loan debt was causing high levels of stress and anxiety for our staff, particularly our clinicians with advanced degrees and corresponding large debt balances, we partnered with Gradifi to provide some immediate, meaningful relief."

Tim DeMello, Gradifi Founder and CEO echoed this sentiment, stating "The burden of an employee's student debt has an indisputable effect on over all well-being and company culture. Commonwealth Psychology's move to offer Gradifi's SLP Plan as a benefit to their employees shows their commitment to helping alleviate that burden, as well as exhibiting leadership for other wellness providers to follow suit."

In addition to improving workplace wellness, Dr. Piatt believes that the business community also has an opportunity to raise public awareness of the student loan debt crisis and the urgent need to reign in the cost of higher education to prevent future generations from amassing excessive debt.  "While the U.S. economy needs an educated work-force and students deserve the opportunities that higher education provides, asking students to take on increasingly unsustainable levels of debt is not the solution," Dr. Piatt said.

About Commonwealth Psychology Associates
The standard in behavioral healthcare, CPA is a multi-disciplinary psychological counseling and behavioral health center dedicated to providing collaborative, state of the art assessment and treatment. CPA has four locations in Boston and Newton, MA, where approximately 40 doctoral psychologists, neuropsychologists, and psychopharmacologists offer specialty services, including:  health psychology, stress management training, biofeedback, neuropsychological evaluation, ADHD diagnosis and treatment, medication consultation, and much more. Since opening in 2004, CPA has helped over 15,000 clients lead happier, healthier lives and has been named a 2012 "Top 100 Woman Led Business" and a 2014 & 2015 "Top Workplace" by the Boston Globe.

Caitlin Schwager
Communications Manager
(617) 259-1895 ext. 1342

SOURCE Commonwealth Psychology Associates

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