Mental health issues in the hospitality industry have been an ongoing issue for many years, and with recent events ranging from the pandemic to economic changes, it has continued to be a cause for concern.

The economic cost for Australian businesses as a whole is immense, with the Australian Government’s Productivity Commission reporting in 2020 that ‘the estimated cost of mental illness and suicide to the Australian economy is about $43–70 billion each year, with a further $151 billion from diminished health and reduced life expectancy’.

In addressing the mental health concerns, mental health awareness advocates RUOK?, with initiatives like RUOK day, have looked for other ways to effectively begin conversations to support others through difficult times.

To meet its ongoing objectives, RUOK? is working with the hospitality sector to assist the industry in handling mental health issues that can arise due to the everyday pressures of the workplace.

The challenges the hospitality industry faces can be unique – from the fast-paced nature of many roles, to shift work isolating workers from family and friends, to financial worries.

RUOK? put together a Hospitality Expert Reference Group that has guided the creation of multiple resources, including a ‘Mateship Manual’; a free guide to help people walk through conversations with their colleagues.

This manual is an easy-to-follow guide on what to look for in others, how to approach a conversation, how to listen and how to encourage someone to take action.

The resources are designed to promote a culture of support within the workplace.

For these guides to be as effective as possible, RUOK? has also launched a survey to provide data to inform its resources.

By spending a few minutes completing the survey, RUOK? is able to provide relevant information and useful resources through the data received to ensure hospitality workplaces can meet their legal requirements in providing staff with a psychologically safe workplace.

For more information, including multiple free resources, visit

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