Western Australia’s hospitality venues are uniting this week to help workers in the sector with their mental health.
To mark WA Mental Health Week, venues across the state are being encouraged to donate to Healthy Mind Menu Inc, an organisation set up by top chefs, leading industry figures and mental health advocates to support hospitality staff in the west.
Since launching in 2018, Healthy Mind Menu Inc has run a number of seminars, workshops and fundraising events. It also recently launched a dedicated free online mental wellbeing course which has attracted over 1,000 participants.
Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods said 2020 had been an extremely challenging year for the state’s hospitality industry, with COVID-19 causing unprecedented pressure through border restrictions, forced shutdowns and precarious job security.
“When we started Healthy Mind Menu Inc, we were aware that hospitality workers were already predisposed to facing higher rates of mental health issues,” he said.
“However, COVID-19 has clearly exacerbated stress and anxiety throughout the workforce.”
“WA has done extraordinarily well in dealing with this crisis, but we know that there is still a high degree of uncertainty in the industry, plus the struggles of this year have been significant for many.”
“Eighty per cent of hospitality workers have admitted that mental health is a challenge faced by the majority within the industry, and so we know we need to do more to ensure workers have access to appropriate resources and practical assistance.”
“2020 might be a year to forget, but it is important that we remember the mental health issues it may cause workers, owners and operators in our industry.”
Those venues who wish to donate to Healthy Mind Menu Inc can do so here.