To round up Mental Health Awareness Week, the Licensed Trade Charity have created a campaign to encourage mental health training within the industry. Through a three-year commitment to monthly training sessions for managers, the charity hopes this will help develop a greater understanding of what employees could be going through and ways to help.

Funded by the Worshipful Company of Innholders, free sessions take place every month around the country for managers to learn more about the warning signs to look out for and how to deal with a staff member who appears to be suffering mentally.

To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, the charity released the results of an April 2019 survey, in which 370 workers took part, that provides insight into the mental health issues within the sector.

  • 12% of respondents admitted a mental health issue had caused them to be absent from work. This echoes wider research within the UK economy as a whole, which shows that 12.7% of all sickness absence days can be attributed to mental health conditions.
  • 38% of respondents said they had worked with someone who has suffered from mental health issues. Across all industries, 1 in 3 of the UK workforce have been formally diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime.
  • 55% of respondents said they and their colleagues would benefit from having a greater understanding of mental health issues and their impact – something the charity is striving to address.

The UK is estimated to forego £25 billion in gross value through the cost of mental health problems, including absence, staff turnover and lost productivity. With hospitality staff making up 10% of workers in the UK economy, the industry could save millions if they invest in tackling mental health issues.

Pubs and breweries are increasingly doing more to combat the issue, such as Youngs recently hosting a mental health training day for staff, and Heineken providing mental health champion training. Both of those, along with all major pubcos including J D Weatherspoon, Mitchells & Butlers and Ei Group, have already taken part in the Licensed Trade Charity’s mental health training sessions and are continuing to send managers on the course.

Licensed Trade Charity Chief Executive Jim Brewster said: “Whilst the survey results are encouraging that our industry does not appear out of line with the UK as a whole on mental health, despite being a demanding but rewarding career choice, we know more can be done. It is reassuring that so many pub companies are working hard in this area to support their staff, and also making full use of our services such as the 24/7 helpline, free counselling and training for managers. We will continue to drive forward innovation in this area to enable us to support pub, bar and brewery workers on mental health, as we do in so many other aspects”.

To find out more and register your interest in attending a one-day course on tackling mental health issues, go to http://bit.ly/LTCMentalHealthTraining