Yesterday was R U OK day, when hospitality workers and management are encouraged to pause and consider the mental health of colleagues, and the state of problems in the industry.
International research has shown hospitality workers suffer high rates of mental health issues.
In 2017, a startling 563 hospitality workers took their own lives in Australia, and alarmingly 44 per cent of workers say they would not talk to anyone if they had a problem.
The case of a young Western Australian chef who tragically took his own life in 2016 prompted several corporate leaders and colleagues to develop and launch Healthy Mind Menu Inc, in 2017.
Since its formation it has investigated how mental health issues can be identified and appropriately addressed in the workplace, holding workshops and committee meetings to ensure mental health remains a front of mind issue.
On 7 October 2019 the second ‘Well Being Day’ workshop will be held at Fraser’s Restaurant in Kings Park.
And on 28 October the enterprise’s inaugural fundraiser dinner will be held at Clarke’s of North Beach, being a collaborative effort between Chris Harris from Youth Focus, local chefs, industry representatives and the Australian Hotels Association (WA).
Leading hospitality industry figures, top chefs and mental health advocates have joined forces to continue a vital discourse, with hopes for a smarter future.
“The conversation that is being had as a result of the Healthy Mind Menu being formed is well overdue,” offers Australian Hotels Association (WA) CEO Bradley Woods.
“The hospitality industry is a high-pressure environment that can create stressful, demanding workplaces that can exacerbate mental health problems for workers.
“As an industry we are looking at ways to identify, reduce or address mental health pressures, which ultimately results in happier, more productive and healthier workplaces.”