To coincide with World Mental Health Day this week, The Caterer published the findings of its survey, distributed the month previously, to examine the problems hospitality workers have with their mental health and how they feel they could be better supported.
The short, 10-question survey asking people about their experiences of mental health in hospitality, received an overwhelming response, with more than 100 submissions in the first 24 hours and 713 in total over two weeks, demonstrating what a hot topic it is for the industry.
Of the respondents, 59% consider themselves to have a mental health problem at the moment and 71% had experienced a mental health problem at some point.
Of these, 51% had sought help or advice for it, but 56% said their employer was not aware of their mental health problem – very little change from the reported 54% six years ago.
When asked if they felt there was a stigma surrounding mental health, a clear majority says yes (70%) – a disappointing statistic, but down from 90% in a comparable Caterer-run survey in 2012, suggesting that while the industry is improving, there’s still a long way to go.
Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind, said of the results: “It’s worrying to see such high levels of stress and poor mental health within the hospitality industry. It’s even more concerning that so few people are seeking help, or opening up to their employers about it, probably because of the perceived stigma surrounding mental health. Staff struggling in silence are unlikely to be getting the support they need, and this can make things worse.
“Employees living with mental health problems such as depression and anxiety can and do make a valuable contribution to the workplace, but may need additional support. If your mental health problem meets the definition of a disability under the Equality Act 2010 – in that it has a substantial, adverse, and long-term effect on normal day-to-day activities – you need to tell your employer about it.
They then have a duty to make reasonable adjustments, which could include anything from changes to working hours, roles and responsibilities, to providing quiet rooms and regular breaks, for example.”
Whilst the hospitality industry does not necessarily cause mental health issues, more than half of the survey’s respondents cited long working hours (56%), unreasonable work demands (54%) and a high-pressure working environment (53%) as having an adverse impact, all of which are characteristic of hospitality, but which can be managed.
To download The Caterer’s full, free Mental Health in Hospitality Report and find their analysis of its findings visit their website.