Mental Health in Hospitality

Yes. Mental health. With hospitality’s fast-paced nature and often-unique financial, social, and emotional stressors, many in our industry are doing it tough. The restaurants, bars, and cafes where we work are struggling to get and keep staff or even stay open at all.  Yes, a lot of this is due to Covid-19. But this has been going on for a lot longer than this.

The industry can be difficult. We work long hours, are continuously pressured to preform to customers’ expectations, lack staff, and are required to navigate certain logistics to just get through the day.  Many staff members are having to take stress leave due to these issues. It is not only the staff experiencing this, but the management as well.

My experience with mental health happened when one of my managers noticed that I was struggling at work.  Instead of managing me out, he sat me down and asked me questions about what was happening and how I was feeling.  This seemed a little strange, as I was only ever called into the room to be told that I was doing something wrong.  This is the first time that anyone had tried to understand me or seemed truly concerned.  After talking about some issues that I never really thought about, I felt a wave of relief off my shoulders.  We concluded that I need to get some help to sort out what was happening.  That said I went to the GP and got a referral to a psychologist and went from there.

I found that there is a lot of help out there, we just need to start a conversation.  Days like R U OK day are a great kick-off point.  This includes men, where many of us tend to hide our feelings.  If you need to talk and don’t feel confident with friends and family, there are other people you can talk to who are not connected to your personal life.

I am fine now, but still need some help.  We all have good days and bad days.  We need to recognise when we have to deal with each moment at a time. Do what I do every morning and say to yourself that you are important, you make a difference in the world, and that you are meant to be here.  Also remember talk to someone.

If you are struggling, there are people out there to help:

Lifeline (24/7 ): 13 11 14

Mensline (24/7): 1300 78 99 78

Suicide Call Back Service (24/7): 1300 659 467

Beyond Blue (24/7): 1300 224 636

Headspace (for 12-25 yrs): 1800 650 890

QLife Anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral:

Wellmob Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People:

RU OK has recently released a manual for helping your friends and family in the hospitality industry. Visit here for the full guide: