Trigger Warning. This post contains content about suicide.
Mental health first aid training is a vital resource for anyone who wants to learn how to provide support to people who may be experiencing mental health issues. It is especially crucial in the hospitality industry, where staff members are often on the front lines of customer service and may encounter guests who are struggling with their mental health.
One of the most significant benefits of mental health first aid training is that it teaches staff members how to intervene in situations where someone may be at risk of suicide. Suicide is a complex issue, and many people may not know how to recognize the signs of suicidal ideation or how to respond to someone who is contemplating taking their own life. Mental health first aid training can equip hospitality staff members with the knowledge and skills they need to identify these warning signs and to offer appropriate support.
When I worked as a chef in the 90’s we never talked about mental health, suicide, feelings. You could get sacked on the spot, wages were rubbish, and you rarely saw sunlight. There are a lot of risk factors for poor mental health in the hospitality industry and a lot of things staff and managers/owners can do to mitigate risk. Another benefit of mental health first aid training is that it can help reduce stigma around mental health issues. Many people may feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about their mental health struggles, and this can prevent them from seeking the help they need. By educating staff members about common mental health issues and how to support people who are struggling, mental health first aid training can help to break down these barriers and create a more supportive and understanding environment.
In addition to these benefits, mental health first aid training can also help to improve the overall wellbeing of hospitality staff members. Working in the hospitality industry can be stressful, and staff members may be exposed to high levels of emotional labour. Learning how to recognize and manage their own mental health can help staff members to better cope with the challenges they may face on the job, leading to improved job satisfaction and overall quality of life.
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