With Mental Health Awareness Day earlier this week we put the spotlight on this important issue.
Mental health issues can affect one in four people at some point in their lives and have a significant impact on employee wellbeing and it is a major cause of long-term absence from work.
Employers should promote good mental health and provide support for employees who are experiencing mental ill health including anxiety or depression.
Whilst the COVID 19 pandemic has impacted people’s mental health, the impact is still ongoing with the uncertainty not only of COVID 19 but also more recent events such as the war in Ukraine and the economic crisis.
Employers and managers should be alert to the early signs of stress and mental ill health, and know how to respond. Early intervention can help prevent issues from escalating, but employers should not give advice about a mental health issue as they are rarely qualified to do so. It’s important that line managers have the knowledge and confidence to signpost an employee to more expert sources of support, for example recommending a GP visit or referral to occupational health.
Overwork is a major cause of stress and in the current climate with staff shortages and teams covering each other’s roles it is important that managers keep an eye on their team’s mental health.
Whilst staff shortages are an issue for many and can impact mental health and workloads there are things that can be looked at to reduce stress, for example reducing the size and complexity of the menu Working with technology to make lives easier such as digitising stock control, ordering, online training and allergen management.
Ensuring you have good working conditions in place can also reduce staff turnover and whilst the hospitality industry may include long hours, you can improve staff mental well-being and staff retention by bench marking yourself against similar businesses and creating a working environment with open communication and investment in your existing employees including training and development, career development and ensuring a work life balance. Planning schedules in advance also leads to reduced stress on team members.
Ensuring managers are aware of mental health issues can be achieved by attending mental health first aid courses which helps to equip them with the knowledge to identify those requiring mental health support and providing them with assistance when required.
There are several resources available to help with the mental health of employees including:
Hospitality Action- https://www.hospitalityaction.org.uk/advice-staging/mental-health-overview/
For further information, advice and training courses on mental health please contact the Food Alert Advice Line on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0844 445 7412