Mental health support for pub staff

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Support is available: if you are struggling with mental health, there are sector-specific and other charities that can help
Support is available: if you are struggling with mental health, there are sector-specific and other charities that can help

Related tags: mental health

There are several charities offering resources to publicans struggling with their mental health, such as helplines and worksheets.

Caroyln Jenkinson, head of charity services at the Licensed Trade charity, said the current situation has meant an incredible amount of stress and anxiety for many in the sector. 

Useful phone numbers

Samaritans: 116 123

This is a 24-hour helpline that provides a safe place for anyone who is struggling to cope. It is a free number to call and does not appear on phone bills. You can also contact the charity via email at jo@samaritans.org. 

Mind Infoline: 0300 123 3393

This is an information and signposting service where you can ask about mental health problems and how to access help near you. Lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Licensed Trade Charity helpline: 0808 801 0550

For sector-specific advice, you can talk to an adviser at this charity. Its helpline is free on most mobile networks and available 24 hours. You can also contact an adviser by filling out a form on its website​.

The Drinks Trust: 0800 915 4610

This helpline is open to anyone in the drinks industry supply chain, including drinks makers and distributors, as well as those working in pubs and bars. It’s also for people working in marketing and other office-based roles at licensed businesses.

Papyrus: 0800 068 41 41

This organisation helps people aged under 35 and is available Monday to Friday 9am to 10pm, weekends and bank holidays from 2pm to 10pm. You can also reach Papyrus by emailing cng@cnclehf-hx.bet​ or text on 07860 039967.

Emergency services: 999

If you have seriously harmed yourself, you should call 999 for an ambulance or go straight to A&E. Or ask someone else to call 999 or take you to A&E.

She said: “We know that coping with mental health can be difficult at the best of times, but the added pressure and uncertainty of a global outbreak is likely to contribute massively to anxiety and stress levels in those who already suffer – and even if you’ve never experienced issues with mental health at all before.

“The Licensed Trade Charity stands strong in this sea of uncertainty offering support to licensed tradespeople. Our website and helpline aims to support anyone who’s feeling anxious or worried about the Covid-19 outbreak, as well as those who are finding it hard to cope with staying at home and avoiding public places, including people who have to self-isolate.”

Mental health charity Mind has outlined the ways you can look after yourself despite staying indoors. It also has guidance on what to do if you are experiencing anxiety over keeping track of the news or over obsessive thoughts over hand-washing routines. Its advice and resources on coronavirus can be accessed here​. 

The Drinks Trust – formerly The Benevolent – has a list of resources available to licensees with mental health concerns related to coronavirus on its website​. While the charity is unable to provide any more financial grants to licensees at this point, it can provide specialist mental health support and advice.

The charity also has free resources for pub staff to download on its website​, including advice sheets on how to speak to an employer about different mental health problems. 

In addition to charities that are available day and night to help licensees talk about whatever they are going through, there are also several community and trade-organised mental health initiatives on social media.

One page is The Burnt Chef Project​, which collates mental health stories of those working in pub and restaurant kitchens, and shares them on social media to open up a conversation.

The project posted on Facebook: “We are in uncharted territory currently. The world of hospitality, as we know it, has ground to a halt.

“Where we were once in busy environments, surrounded by people, we now find ourselves at a considerably slower pace of life.

“It's OK to feel displaced, to feel a sense of loss, however, you are not alone. We are hospitality and, as a result, we need to pull together. Make new connections and help pull each other through this.

“If you see someone below who feels they are struggling please just reach out to them. Open up communication and share the positives or things that are working well with you.

“Don’t underestimate what a simple chat could mean to someone.”

Training provider CPL Learning has made its Mental Health Support Champion​ and its Personal Resilience​ e-learning courses free. The former promotes good mental health and wellbeing in the workplace while the latter aims to provide learners with the necessary tools to improve their understanding and skills in dealing with the various demands of working in a hospitality environment.

Both can be accessed on the CPL Learning website​, though you will have to sign up for a CPL account and provide your details.

A free live content stream has also been created by Think Hospitality and Flow Hospitality in order to keep hospitality workers connected and upskilled during isolation. It is called HOSPO LIVE​.

The project has been supported by industry partners including UKHospitality, Fever Tree, Diageo, Bacardi and Only A Pavement Away.

Sessions will run on Facebook Live throughout Monday to Friday and add value to a number different job roles within hospitality, ranging from front of house staff to head office. The topics covered include yoga, fitness, wellness, hospitality training sessions interviews with inspirational hospitality figures, and live cooking segments. 

Related topics: Health & safety, UnitedWeStand

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