Only four hospitality operators have signed up to Time to Change’s employer pledge to address the stigma around mental health: Pizza Hut, Greggs and contract caterers SSP and Compass Group.
Time to Change, a campaign affiliated to mental health charity Mind that addresses the stigma around mental health, was launched in 2007. More than 850 businesses in the UK have signed its employer pledge to commit to change how we think and act around mental health in the workplace.
“I’m disappointed and frustrated that there has been a lack of momentum from employers in the hospitality industry in taking up the Time to Change employers pledge, but I’m not surprised,” said Sarah Restall, an employer engagement manager at Time to Change.
“I do believe a lot of the industry’s larger organisations will have their own internal operations and support for their staff, it’s just all inwardly facing. And many small, independent businesses might not have the capacity or might only have one staff member responsible for rolling out wellbeing policies and practices in addition to other roles. Businesses that don’t necessarily feel they can support people once they’ve encouraged them to open up might not want to start those conversations in the first place.”
She added: “But it’s an aspirational pledge. All we’re asking is for businesses to normalise the conversation so people don’t have to get to crisis point before they seek help.”
Time to Change asks employers to fill out an ‘action plan’ to get employees talking about mental health, which it offers free help and advice on. The campaign also encourages ‘mental health champions’ in the workplace, signposts to support services – even if it’s just a poster of numbers in the toilet – and for businesses to commit to two points in the year where the business acknowledges that it’s important to talk about mental health. It also encourages business to offer mental health training for line managers, however can support small businesses to provide this.