Mental health in the workplace is the elephant in the room. It exists but too often it is ignored. The hospitality industry – with its long working hours and, on occasions, stressful working environment – is no different. Continuing to ignore that mental health illness exists can be costly, both for the business and the individual sufferer.
Caterer and Hotelkeeper is launching a new campaign called Open Minds in which we aim to raise awareness of the extent of mental health illness within the industry, shed the taboo and provide support to both employers and employees. For employers, we aim to help them recognise when a problem exists and advise how they can support sufferers, and for the sufferer, we want to help them take the first positive steps towards getting help.
Whatever level of the industry you are at – be a manager or a new recruit – and whatever sector – hotel, restaurant, pub, bar, contract catering company – we would like to hear your story. Have you experience of a great manager and supportive colleagues, or are you someone who has suffered in silence because you are frightened of the consequences of divulging exactly how you feel? Or perhaps your company has a great mental health policy which you would like to share?
If you are happy to speak about your experience – and you can do so in total confidence – by replying to this post or, if you prefer, contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This campaign is fantastic, and is needed in the industry. All too often there is a lack of understanding with mental health, and there are very few places with policies for dealing with mental health issues.
My current employer has no formal procedure that I am aware of, but there are loads of policies that exist for the group so it may exist but just not be known to me. However I know that my regional HR director, direct manager and others are very good at dealing with these issues, arranging home visits etc for staff experiencing mental distress. I think one important thing is to ensure that is program also ensures support is provided for those living with or caring for someone with mental health issues as they are often forgotten, yet the impact of mental health can be just as devastating to the career or partner!
Thank you M Shiells-Jones. It is great that you think this is a worthy cause. Unfortunately it is one that is either overlooked as people find it very difficult to talk about it. The more support we receive the better.