Hospitality Action has put together a special piece for Pub & Bar, looking at the importance of mental health support for people working in the hospitality industry.
How often do you think about your own mental health or that of your employees?
Did you know each year, 300,000 people with a long term mental health condition lose their job. This is a startlingly higher rate than those with a physical health condition and costs employers between £33bn and £42bn a year. As one of the UK’s largest employers, the hospitality industry knows all to well the mental health challenges facing employees and the impact that poor mental health has on both home and work life.
It is for precisley this reason that Hospitality Action introduced its Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) five years ago.
Since then, the EAP has worked with almost 200 companies and over 110,000 employees across the country, including the likes Oakman Inns, City Pub Group and Living Ventures. But the charity knows that there is always more that can be done.
Mark Lewis, CEO of Hospitality Action (pictured) explains the benefits of the EAP:
“For just £5 a year per employee, employers can offer a raft of benefits through the programme, including a 24/7 helpline, personal counselling, legal guidance, addiction support, debt advice and a whistleblowing service. This year, we’ll be augmenting our EAP with the addition of an online employee benefits platform and access to a range of health cash plans, which act as an extra support network for workers.”
Make time for yourself
It is no secret that long hours are part and parcel of working in pubs and bars, and sometimes this means we leave little or no time to relax and make time for ourselves. As an employer, it can be particularly frustrating to spot a problem, but not have the resources or time to offer effective help. Hospitality Action is a pillar of support for the industry. Employers that subscribe to the EAP are in effect working in partnership with the charity, demonstrating a commitment to their team’s physical and mental wellbeing along with providing a tool for morale and retention.
In the last year, the charity has seen a 16% increase in the number of people seeking counselling support and it wants to ensure that they can help even more wherever possible. Signing up to the programme gives your hard-working employees a real support network, and leaves you confident that they can access professional help should they ever need it.
Additional support is also available to help businesses in the aftermath of a traumatic event, for example, following the devastating London Bridge terror attacks last year. Many of the local businesses who had been caught up in the attacks wanted to be able to offer their members of staff trauma support, including psychological first aid, but did not know exactly where to start.
Hospitality Action, however, was able to help, as Ceri Gott, HR Director at Hawksmoor explains:
“Within a day of contacting them, we had a post-trauma specialist on hand running group and individual sessions to support people who had been working in the restaurant on the night. Our people can’t quite believe how much help is available from Hospitality Action when they hear about it, and that it is an organisation that understands them and their issues.”
Let’s not put mental health at the back of the bar, EAP gives employers and employees peace of mind.
Employee Assistance Programme – the facts
- EAP provides specialist, independent and confidential advice, support and assistance, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.
- Support includes but is not limited to: counselling, legal guidance, addiction support, debt advice, parenting helpline, and whistleblowing.
- Costs employers £5+VAT a year per employee.
- Currently supports almost 200 companies and over 110,000 employees in the industry.