People who work in hospitality often serve long hours, work almost every day of the week and have to put up with less than ideal working conditions. Finding a way to help release stigma around mental health issues is challenging when it is embedded in an entire culture or way of life. With intentional movement, mental health stigma in the industry can change, but it starts with recognizing the reality of mental health issues among people in hospitality and how to handle this for loved ones struggling.
What Causes Mental Health Issues
The reason mental health issues rise up for people is that they only get half the treatment they need. Depression and anxiety disorders are the leading cause of ill health and disability. Service workers in the hospitality and restaurant industry are more susceptible to developing and succumbing to mental illness than workers in salaried industries. Illicit drug use is higher there than any other sector. While the factors leading to these disparities are not clear, the odd hours, scheduling, low wages, lack of benefits, high turnover, and other issues may play a role. Many people are having trouble getting benefits and full-time hours. People are living more on the margins and struggling with making ends meet with a string of part-time jobs.
The industry is working towards ending silence on mental health issues in the industry. There are programs that are developing standards to identify signs of mental health distress while at work for people in hospitality. Peer mentors are identifiable in the restaurants they work in for one program so people can check-in with them and support their journey of healing. Mental health issues left unchecked can lead to tragic circumstances. This includes addictive behaviors, among other things. Some of the things they are fighting for to make this work more sustainable:
- Living wages
- Affordable health care
- Sustainable working conditions
- Education for employees and owners, including stakeholders, around mental health issues and consequences
Leaders are encouraged in the industry to take a deeper look at why this is occurring so frequently and how to make a culture shift. The other thing is that families and friends of loved ones can step in to help those in need so they can find support. It is hard to find healing without community support. The more loved ones surround people with kindness, the better off they are. In addition, they can offer to find them helpful in the form of treatment for addiction and recovery. When treatment is offered, it can often make a huge difference in how and when they heal from addiction.
A Step in the Right Direction provides quality care for clients seeking support for addiction recovery. We support people in the restaurant and hospitality industries who may be struggling with addiction. For more information sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702