Mental Health in the Workplace
Andrew Crook - NFFF President
May 10, 2021

This article is taken from our quarterly Fish Friers Review, for more click here

Research from The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) found that ‘One in five hospitality workers suffer from work-related severe mental health issues’. 84% of those working in hospitality attributed feeling increased stress as a direct result of their job.

The catering industry has always been known as a stressful environment, long hours, split shifts and periods of high pressure. Add to this the unpredictability of the last 12 months. Businesses being closed, staff being furloughed, others taking on extra work, home schooling & isolation. It’s no wonder that we are expecting to see mental health problems in the workplace increase. As an employer we need to be proactive as we get used to the ‘new normal’.

So as a business what can you do to support your team during this period? It is widely accepted that training and education is the key. A business that is able to support and enhance their team’s mental health are far more likely to have a happier and more productive workforce. It has been show that for every £1 invested into an team members wellbeing, employers can see up to a £4.20 in return. It really is a win – win situation.

Modern training teaches employers how to create a more positive work environment which nurtures their employees mental health to avoid future problems. It also looks at how to spot signs and potential triggers that highlight a team member is struggling and in need of help.

Spotting these signs early could lead to a quick and easy resolution. If left, mental ill-health can cause long term and debilitating problems to the individual but also to the business both financially and logistically.

Don’t worry, learning about mental health is not aimed at turning you in to a psychiatrist. You are not expected to ‘fix’ or diagnose people’s mental health problems. It teaches you how to promote a healthy workplace and by doing so helping to prevent causes of mental health problems. You will be able to recognise someone who needs support and then sign post options for your employee so that they can easily access the right help.

It is also vital that you look after yourself, as a leader you aren’t expected to be invincible. We all need help sometimes. Here are our top tips to keeping yourself mentally healthy. These might sound obvious, but have a look at last week – did you take care of yourself as much as you could?

  • Get plenty of sleep, it’s vital for positive moods and emotions.
  • Eat Well, simply put, you get our what you put in!
  • Avoid alcohol, smoking and drugs, you may think it is making you feel better in the short term but these are all depressants.
  • Keep active and exercise. You release natural drugs in the body when you exercise which make you happy.
  • Get outdoors and away from screens. A change of scenery will make you more productive and allows you to think more clearly.
  • Do something you enjoy, or learn something new. This will give you a sense of achievement and it boosts self-esteem.
  • Connect as much as possible – human contact is vital to our mental health. It’s good to talk, we all feel much better by having positive people around us.
  • If you need help there are always people to listen.

Hospitality ActionMind and Samaritans can also provide support for those struggling with mental health issues so no one needs to suffer alone. It’s ok to not be ok.

If you would like more information on Mental Health in the Workplace training, you can contact Paul.

Paul Markham

0330 311 0799

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