Three-quarters of hospitality workers reporting mental health concerns

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Almost three-quarters of people working in the hospitality sector have struggled with their mental health over the course of the pandemic.

According to online training platform High Speed Training, which comissioned the research, 73% of hospitality workers reported suffering a mental health concern over the past year. Thirty-five per cent of respondents said this was due to their work.

As hospitality venues reopen, 72% of workers in the sector said they remained concerned about the mental health of their colleagues and 44% said they did not have anybody to talk to about their mental health at work.

High Speed Training suggested that reports of staff shortages in restaurants and bars could be having an effect on employees’ wellbeing.

The survey findings indicated that organisations could be doing more to support the mental health of their staff. Fifty-one per cent of those surveyed said fellow employees don’t hold any mental health awareness training or qualifications and a further 59% said their workplace does not offer mental health training.

Despite this, 44% said they would take part in mental health awareness training if it was made available to them.

Sarah Taylor, hospitality industry expert at High Speed Training, said: “It’s extremely worrying that this new data shows how many employees in the hospitality industry have really struggled with their mental health during the pandemic, and that it continues to have a detrimental impact with the current staff shortages across the sector.

“It’s vital that businesses and industry bodies do everything they can to provide, and cover the cost of training around, mental health awareness, so there are dedicated team members for employees to turn to.

“The first step is providing employees with someone to talk to, who can then provide support and guidance, and escalate issues when required.”

Tim Etherington-Judge, founder of Healthy Hospo, which works to build a happier, healthier hospitality industry, commented: “As we come out of lockdown and begin our journey to a normally functioning society, the mental, and physical health of hospitality workers needs to be put front and centre. Hospitality is not the service of food and drink, it’s hosting, making people feel welcome, and providing amazing guest experiences, this can only be achieved with staff who are healthy, happy and have good mental health.

“We are also experiencing a staffing crisis in the industry as Covid and Brexit combine to create a chronic shortage of people seeking employment in hospitality. Employers are going to have to compete hard to attract new staff into their businesses, and the industry, and providing great working environments, good mental health support, and better financial incentives are going to be key to that.”

The survey received responses from 1,000 workers and was conducted in May 2021.

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