Results of a recent survey conducted by the Licensed Trade Charity as a mental health check for the pub trade show that whilst the industry does not face a severe issue, more can be done. A survey of 370 workers to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, from 13th to 19th May, provided insight into the impact of mental health issues within pubs and bars.

The survey, which included licensees, managers and bar staff, was conducted in April 2019 and revealed the following:

  • 12% of respondents admitted a mental health issue had caused them to be absent from work. This echoes wider research within the UK economy as a whole, which shows that 12.7% of all sickness absence days can be attributed to mental health conditions.
  • 38% of respondents said they had worked with someone who has suffered from mental health issues. Across all industries, 1 in 3 of the UK workforce have been formally diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime.
  • 55% of respondents said they and their colleagues would benefit from having a greater understanding of mental health issues and their impact – something the charity is striving to address.

The Licensed Trade Charity is at the forefront of a campaign to create that greater understanding, through a three-year commitment to monthly training events for managers. Funded by the Worshipful Company of Innholders, free sessions take place every month around the country for managers to learn more about the warning signs to look out for and how to deal with a staff member who appears to be suffering mentally.

To find out more and register your interest in attending a one-day course on tackling mental health issues, follow this link.

Tackling mental health issues could save the industry millions, with hospitality industry staff making up 10% of workers in the UK economy. Overall, the UK is estimated to forego £25 billion in gross value through the cost of mental health problems, including absence, staff turnover and lost productivity. Pubs and breweries are increasingly doing more to combat the issue, such as Youngs recently hosting a mental health training day for staff, and Heineken providing mental health champion training. Both of those, along with all major pubcos including J D Weatherspoon, Mitchells & Butlers and Ei Group, have already taken part in the Licensed Trade Charity’s mental health training sessions and are continuing to send managers on the course.

Licensed Trade Charity Chief Executive Jim Brewster said: “Whilst the survey results are encouraging that our industry does not appear out of line with the UK as a whole on mental health, despite being a demanding but rewarding career choice, we know more can be done. It is reassuring that so many pub companies are working hard in this area to support their staff, and also making full use of our services such as the 24/7 helpline, free counselling and training for managers. We will continue to drive forward innovation in this area to enable us to support pub, bar and brewery workers on mental health, as we do in so many other aspects.”

The Licensed Trade Charity also launched a short animated film to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, demonstrating the issues pub workers face and how they can seek help to alleviate mental health issues. You can watch the video here.