Did you know there’s a charity that looks after hospitality workers’ wellbeing and mental health?
Founded in 1886, The Benevolent’s mission is to help anyone who works or have worked in the industry facing serious medical or financial hardship or any other workplace or home difficulties. Over the past 130 years the charity has evolved, expanding the scope of support to respond to the industry’s needs and to provide the best impact solutions to colleagues in need.
During 2017, The Benevolent became aware that a large proportion of the requests for support received by the charity actually related to some form of metal health and wellbeing issues as opposed to the traditional requests for financial assistance. This wasn’t the exception anymore; it was significant.
Mental health issues are experienced by 1 in 4 of us every single year. The most common forms are anxiety and depression, but the number of people who self-harm or have suicidal thoughts is increasing. Eating disorders, phobias and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorders) are serious illness and extremely common. Mental health is no different from physical health, but we hardly talk about it. Why?
Understandably shame has an important role; we are ashamed to share these intimate details of our life with our friends, family, let alone co-workers. Especially at work none of us wishes to be stigmatised, isolated or, in worst cases, many of us might fear to face repercussions on career prospects.
Notwithstanding the stigma isn’t erased yet, the conversation has finally started and it is gradually breaking down the stigma and people is starting talking about mental health.
As reported by the charity, over the past 18 months The Benevolent, the Drinks Industry Charity, has experienced an unprecedented number of requests of help regarding mental health issues coming from each sector of the industry. It is regarded, unfortunately, that the drinks industry can really be a tough environment. Long hours, lack of sleep, stress, money worries and the easy access to alcohol can combine a real damage to our health; not only physical but also mental.
As a consequence of all of this, last year The Benevolent took the decision to launch a free confidential helpline for anyone who needs to talk to a professional counsellor. The helpline is available 7 days a week, from 8am to 8pm at 0800 915 4610.
This helpline was a real game-changer. Up to today, an increased number of phone calls and support emails have been registered, and some colleagues from the trade are benefitting from counselling sessions entirely funded by the charity.
However, the charity’s team knew that still wasn’t enough.
Anecdotally the charity has been informed that many colleagues facing difficulties are seeking help on social media, sharing their personal issues on virtual platforms rather than with their GP or their employer. That was the moment when they realised that it was the time to talk to industry about how The Benevolent can be there with you and for you, because you are #NotAlone anymore.
For this reason The Benevolent has launched its new mental health awareness campaign #NotAlone. The campaign aims at creating a stigma-free conversation about mental health in the workplace. At The Benevolent they care about you and your wellbeing, and starting talking to someone is the first step to recovery. Thus they are fully committed to take the stigma down, because there is no shame in experiencing mental health difficulties.
The Benevolent stands up for those in the trade who have suffered or are still suffering with mental health issues in silence. The charity also would like to have a better understanding of the difficulties faced by our colleagues in the industry. For this reason, The Benevolent has launched a survey about mental health aimed to outline which are the mental health difficulties experienced in the Trade and what HR practices are there in place to help you.
The Benevolent encourage you to spare a few minutes and complete the survey by following this link and sharing it with your colleagues in the trade.
The campaign slogan is:
We know it takes a huge effort to grin and bear it, but you are #NotAlone anymore.
If you need to speak to a professional counsellor please call 0800 915 4610 or visit the website www.thebenevolent.org.uk