A new study has found that nearly 60% of people working in the hospitality sector in Scotland have experienced a mental health problem at work. This included stress, depression, and anxiety. Although this is worrying for the industry, it does mark another effort to highlight the problem, and we can all hope that the conversation continues, and more people than ever feel comfortable to open up about what’s affecting them.
One of the more worrying aspects of the study found that over 40% of the 500 people questioned thought that the industry itself had a directly negative effect on their mental health, with long hours, poor work-life balance, and high pressure environments cited as the most pressing issues. These are points I noted in my article for The Buyer last year. I’m not saying that to sound like a know-it-all, I’m saying it because they continue to be the recurring issues of the industry. Ones we must tackle where we can.
ScotHot, who ran the survey, is Scotland’s largest trade event for tourism and hospitality north of the border. Their event last week included a live panel debate: “Talking About It: Mental Health in Hospitality”. I applaud them whole heartedly for making this a highlight of the show. This comes on the back of a similar panel discussion at last year’s London Wine Fair, and The Benevolent’s wonderfully progressive Mental Health Hotline which is available 24/7 to all drinks industry workers in the UK.
Mental health issues are just so horrible, but talking helps and it does get better. So important we keep the dialogue open and let everyone know they’re never alone.