Six in 10 (62%) hospitality professionals are too afraid to tell their employer that they’re suffering with poor mental health, while two thirds said their performance is being affected by their own personal struggles.
To coincide with World Mental Health Day today (10 October), a survey by CV Library of 2,000 found that one third of hospitality workers fear they’d be judged unfairly if they told their boss about their concerns, while 28.6% simply believe their employer is unapproachable.
With two thirds (66.7%) of hospitality workers claiming that their anxieties affect their performance in the workplace, and with 50.8% worrying about failure, a vicious circle is created where staff are underperforming which only compounds their private struggles with mental health. 37.9% say they are less likely to take on new challenges due to self-doubt and 29.1% feel constantly stressed.
Nearly a third (31%) of professionals said that they feel anxious about key aspects of their jobs, such as neglecting personal relationships because of work, the potential of being fired (28.9%), asking for time off to look after children (25.6%), or their boss (18.8%).
“Worrying is a part of life, but if it becomes persistent and interferes with your daily activity, it can sap your energy and make it hard to concentrate at work,” Lee Biggins, CV LIbrary’s CEO, said.
Last year, drinks trade charity The Benevolent carried out a similar survey and found that nearly half (48%) of industry workers thought discussing their mental health problems would damage their careers.
In fact, many believe the job itself is damaging to their wellbeing. The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) published a survey in May this year, which found that, not only had three quarters of bar and restaurant workers been verbally abused by a customer, but one in five people who reported severe mental health problems believed they were direct result of their job.
Healthy Hospo, a not-for-profit community interest company, runs Wellness Workshops on mental and physical health. The group has worked with Unilever to provide mental health training and has a partnership with Love Drinks to run health and wellness programmes for UK bartenders and managers.
Other charities such as Hospitality Action and the Licensed Trade Charity have also been working to help make mental health training a part of all business’s programs. Licensed Trade announced that they were able to help 13,434 and made 376 calls to those is isolation. Through grants they were able to give 767 grants worth £1.3million.
But the new CV Library survey shows that, across the industry, many workers still feel they can’t speak up. More than half (55%) of those surveyed said their boss wouldn’t care about their concerns around mental health.
According to the RSPH white paper, support is “inconsistent, and where it is available there is limited awareness amongst employees.”
Kate Nichols, the head of industry body UKHospitality, told the drinks business there’s no evidence to suggest that mental health problems are “any more or less prevalent in hospitality than in other sectors”, but that the group is “acutely aware of the need to address any problems that do exist.”
“We hope that employees do feel comfortable speaking to their employers and would encourage such dialogue, if only so that anyone suffering mental health problems can be signposted to the many helpful resources and channels of support. The Licensed Trade Charity and Hospitality Action do fantastic work for anyone in our sector needing support.”