Blog. Our mental health campaign - laying the foundations

January 24, 2020 | Author: Mark Lewis

I want to tell you about a meeting I chaired on Tuesday afternoon. Once you’ve read this blog, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

HA helps hospitality people in difficulty or crisis. But we’re also in the prevention business. After all, problems are best resolved before they become acute. Now, we’re applying this philosophy to the area of mental wellness.

So, on Tuesday afternoon, ten of hospitality’s brightest HR sparks gathered in the PDR at Bar Boulud (thanks Amanda Hyndman and Jon Dawson for hosting us) to begin to plot out an awareness campaign aiming to dispel the stigma attached to mental health around the industry and equip operators with the knowledge, resources and tools they need to safeguard against situations that could result in a mental health crisis.

Our focus is on empowering employees to speak up before a problem becomes acute; and educating managers to spot developing problems and normalise open conversations around mental wellness.

We’re delighted to be working on the campaign in association with Compass Group who, with some 59,000 employees across the UK and Ireland, have skin in the game when it comes to keeping employees happy and healthy.

There’ll be three prongs to the campaign. First, we’ll address the individual dealing with mental ill health, who doesn’t know who to talk to or where to turn. Second, we’ll provide tools to help people spot red flags in the behaviour of friends and colleagues, and guide them on how to start conversations. Finally, we’ll provide HR tools and exemplars for operators to apply in their sites.

The whole campaign is premised upon giving the industry’s three million-plus employees the means to look after themselves - and others. After all, isn’t that the essence of hospitality?  

You can help our campaign grow - we want it to be of the industry, for the industry. What guidance would you welcome? What HR tools would help you? What can we do to help you start difficult but necessary conversations? Do have a story to tell of you own mental wellness? Whatever your viewpoint, I want to hear from you via

Who knows? You might just help us save a life.

Thanks again to our headline partners Compass Group, and to sponsors Pladis and the Savoy Educational Trust.