The food service provider has joined forces with Hospitality Action to launch the awareness programme on Blue Monday (20 January), which is “widely recognised” as the “saddest day of the year”.
Both groups are now calling on the hospitality industry to have a “year-long focus on protecting the mental health of its workers”.
The new programme “aims to dispel the stigma attached to mental health problems around the hospitality industry” and to provide support to workers by “equipping operators with the knowledge, resources and tools they need to safeguard against situations that could result in a mental health crisis”.
The programme follows Hospitality Action’s research that found four out of five hospitality workers find their job stressful some or most of time. Four out of five workers also said that stress levels increased over the past three years, while 56% did not make employers aware of mental health problems.
Hospitality Action CEO, Mark Lewis, said: “In the last two years, HA has seen a marked increase in cases involving a mental health problem, and sadly we have seen the aftermath of far too many suicides – particularly those of young men.”
The first steering group meeting will take place 21 January, where senior figures across the industry and Hospitality Action experts will meet to discuss the issues and “develop tools that will help the industry tackle the issues causing workers’ mental health to suffer”.
Lewis added: “Mental health problems and self-harm are currently a major problem in businesses across the UK. We want to act quickly to provide practical, simple information and tools that are easy to implement and can help break the taboos that surround talking about our mental health.”
Robin Mills, managing director at Compass Group UK and Ireland, said: “We work in a brilliant industry which provides fantastic opportunities, but we mustn’t shy away from the fact that it can also be challenging.
“That’s why programmes like the one HA are launching today are so vitally important and I’m thrilled that Compass is joining forces with Hospitality Action to help drive it forward.”
He added: “As a large employer I believe we can make a positive difference in helping our people as well as our colleagues across the industry in managing their mental health.
“By raising awareness of this issue and providing access to information, I hope it will encourage people to seek help when they need it – the more that can be done to enable people to speak up and get support, the better.”