Tackling poor mental health in the workplace through fully-funded event

The inaugural event of a new Cornwall initiative that aims to support and promote positive mental health and wellbeing in the hospitality industry has been hailed a success by those who attended.

Hospitality Table Cornwall, the ESF funded project being delivered by the Ofsted Outstanding Truro and Penwith College, has joined with over 20 hospitality businesses across Cornwall to discuss mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

The project hosted its first Mental Health and Wellbeing Forum at Trenderway Farm, a tranquil and peaceful venue nestled on the outskirts of Looe.

It’s no secret that more and more people are starting to open up about their poor mental health, it’s also no secret that 15% of people will experience mental health problems in the workplace (https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk). As one of the most fast-paced and demanding industries, those working in hospitality are calling out for more awareness and support regarding their staff and their wellbeing.

Alongside a number of professionals, Hospitality Table Cornwall created a day of workshops, inspiring talks, and mental health awareness training to ensure employers are using best practise in supporting their staff. Focusing on nutrition, physical health, support systems and holistic approaches, the day consisted of ‘takeaway best practices’, a wealth of resources and expert knowledge for preventing poor mental health, focusing on positive wellbeing.

One of the guest speakers was Ross Jackson Hicks, founder of Man Down, a Cornish based group offering a safe space to meet the current emotional and mental health needs of men who are struggling to cope with the everyday pressures facing them in our modern society. Ross opened up about his own experiences and ways to support one another.

Delivering the afternoon session was Amber Cowburn, founder of Working Well; an organisation that delivers workplace mental health training and consultancy across the south-west. She is also a trustee of Invictus Trust, a Cornish charity raising awareness for adolescent mental health, in memory of her brother. Amber explained different types of mental illness, how damaging stigma and misunderstanding is, how to approach the topic with employees, and maintain a positive and open working environment.

"Training in mental health awareness can really help people to understand mental health as a scale, and to feel better equipped with tools to look after their own wellbeing, and to support others. I believe in a proactive approach where we think about everybody's wellbeing in the workplace, and create a supportive and accepting environment for all."