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Pressure in the events and hospitality industry impacts mental health

HBAA, the trade association for the hotel, apartment and venue community, has revealed the results of its mental health survey to coincide with World Mental Health Day which takes place Thursday 10 October.

The survey highlights that workers in the hospitality and event sector are more likely to suffer from mental health issues compared to five years ago. This is due to their working practices, shorter meeting lead times and increased pressures.

These findings are supported by 21% of HBBA members who responded to the survey and stated that 43% of these factors contributed to their mental health.

HBAA has been campaigning this year to address mental health issues in the industry by arranging mental health first aider training courses, raising awareness, providing toolkits, running an industry event in May and speaking about mental health at its member meetings.

Organisations have addressed mental health issues, with 69% making changes in the workplace. For example, members have reported that their organisations have made counselling and employee assistance programmes, introduced wellbeing policies and placed management and staff on mental health first aider training courses.

However, according to HBBA’s survey, 57% of organisations do not have trained mental health first aiders. Therefore, HBBA have created a further mental health first aid training course, which will take place on 14-15 November at the Mercure Daventry Court in Northamptonshire.

Leigh Cowlishaw Leigh Cowlishaw, HBAA past chair and board member, said: “That the majority of organisations still don’t have trained Mental Health First Aiders is alarming. To address this, and hoping to alleviate time pressures, HBAA will also run half day and full day Mental Health Awareness sessions in 2020.

“While it’s encouraging to see that so many organisations have taken action in the last 12 months, this shouldn’t just be a ‘tick box’ exercise. These eye-catching results highlight what a massive problem this is and that, whilst a lot is being done, so much more action is needed today. The industry must see this as only the start and must build on the momentum that has been created. It really is ‘ok not to be ok’ and we are working with our members to create cultures which mirror this approach.”