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Falling on 10 October, World Mental Health Day is a day designed to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and help promote efforts in support of mental health.
What’s this got to do with the restaurant industry?
Everything. The hospitality industry is well known to be a stressful place in which to work, which can have a huge impact on the mental health of staff working in such a high pressure environment. Figures released earlier this year by charity Hospitality Action found that 80% of people who worked in hospitality said their job was stressful sometimes or most of the time, with a staggering - and worrying - 51% describing their job as being stressful most or all of the time.
What can be done about it?
Making employers more aware of mental health issues in the industry and the workplace is a start, as is encouraging staff to speak about their problems to people who can offer guidance and support. The industry needs to work continually to ensure it has the well-being of its staff at the core of everything it does, and days like this serve as a reminder that mental health problems are real and need to be addressed and that people who suffer from mental health problems often do it in silence.
Is the industry getting behind it?
Top chef Sat Bains is, for one. Posting on social media, the chef says he will be signing off from his personal social media channels for a week as of 10 October in support of World Mental Health Day. He’ll be posting a selfie on the morning of the day wearing the green ribbon - the international symbol of mental health awareness - “to highlight the importance of mental health and the importance of opening up about it”. The Nottingham-based chef says he also wants to use the week for reflection and to give himself a break from the cyber world. What’s more, he’s calling on others in the industry to join him. “It’s only one-week boys/girls – we can do this,” he says. Following his call a number of other chefs have also pledged to do a social media blackout, including Simon Hulstone, Steve Groves, Ashley Palmer-Watts, Paul Ainsworth, Mark Birchall, Mark Jarvis and Matt Worswick.
And what happens after the day?
Hopefully employers and everyone in the industry is more aware and mindful about mental health problems, how to spot sufferers and give them the help and support they need. It’s an issue which isn’t going to go away, which is why Mental Health Awareness Week will also run again next year, taking place from Monday 13 to Sunday 19 May 2019. There are also a number of charities that offer help, including Hospitality Action and Pilot Light, set up by Brunswick House chef Andrew Clarke, to help people in the industry deal with their mental health problems. You can visit Pilot Light’s Facebook page here
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Hi Guys On Wednesday 10th October at 10am I’ll be signing off my personal social media channels for a week in support of World Mental Health Day. I’ll be posting a selfie on the morning of the 10th wearing the green ribbon (international symbol of mental health awareness) to highlight the importance of mental health and the importance of opening up about it. I also want to use the week for reflection and to give myself a break from the cyber world. I’d really love you to consider doing the same. It’s only one-week boys/girls – we can do this! Sat xx #timetochange #worldmentalhealthday Get your ribbon from https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/green-ribbon-pin-badges Please help support