Get Help. World Mental Health Day - 10/10/19

Too many people in our industry take their own lives. The only way we're going to stop it, is if we can talk about it.

Every suicide is a tragedy. Lives are shattered and those left behind can be left deeply traumatised. 

1 in 4 of us will suffer a mental health problem in our lives and suicide behaviours are complex, there's no single explanation of why people die by suicide. Social, psychological, and cultural factors can all interact to lead a person to suicidal thoughts or behaviour.

For many people, an attempt may occur after a long period of suicidal thoughts or feelings, while in other cases, it may be more impulsive.

If you're worried about your own feelings or the behaviour of a colleague or friend, call us. We're here 24/7 every day of the year. Calls are free and totally confidential, we're on 0808 802 0282 (helpline) or if your employer is subscribed to our Employee Assistance Programme please call 0808 802 2111 or email

This World Mental Health Day we're calling on the industry to learn how to talk about their mental health problems.


Nyall's story.

19 year old Nyall Brown was a front of house manager in Cromer, Norfolk. He took his own life in May 2018.

Nyall's parents want to share his story in the hope that others in our industry who are experiencing a mental health problem will seek help before a problem escalates.

Nyall 'smiley' Brown appeared to be a happy young man. Popular, fit and healthy with an infectious smile, a job he enjoyed and a big network of friends. Nyall's death sent a shockwave throughout his whole community.

Nyall didn't know about organisations like Hospitality Action who may have been able to help him. And until his first suicide attempt his parents didn't know how serious his situation had become.

There are many people like Nyall in our industry, coming in to work each day, working a shift and going home. 

Behind their smiles and their game faces dark thoughts are driving them towards destructive behaviours, addiction and self-harm. 

What you can do.

In wider society and in the hospitality industry too, people now feel more able to discuss their mental health which can only be a positive thing. For colleagues and managers we need to be equipped to support a person asking for help and not be worried about saying the wrong thing or giving advice that we think may get us in trouble.

The only way we're going to reduce suicide cases in our industry is by being open to conversations about mental health problems both at home and in the workplace. That's why we're launching two new resources to support hospitality people to have conversations that were previously considered taboo.

Suicide and addiction.

There is a complicated relationship between depression, addiction and suicide. When somebody is suffering from depression, substance abuse can often be a symptom of a deeper issue. In some cases the addiction may be one of the first signs you may spot that something isn't right.

Addiction is common in our industry and the high pressure of the job, a work-hard play-hard culture, long hours and close proximity to alcohol or other substances all play their part. A conversation about addictive behaviours could well be a stepping stone into getting somebody to open up about a deeper issue. Our addiction awareness film is a free resource for employers to broach this delicate subject. The film features chefs Phil Howard and Tom Kerridge who talk openly about their own experiences. 

With thanks.

Nyall's story is a powerful reminder of why we need to be able to have conversations about suicide. The making of his film is a huge act of generosity and we'd like to thank the following:-

  • Mearl, Tracy and the Brown family
  • Basil at DVPR who made the film free of charge
  • Charlie Hodson, HA Ambassador for making the film happen
  • RNLI for letting us film on Cromer Lifeboat station