Celebrity chef Miguel Maestre has announced he will be supporting R U OK? on 2019’s Dancing With the Stars.
Following the recent and tragic high-profile deaths of two Australian chefs, Miguel wants to highlight R U OK?’s work with the hospitality sector, which aims to ensure the industry is better equipped to handle the pressures that come with what is an exciting, yet demanding workplace.
“I would love to raise awareness for R U OK? and to do something good for other people. As you may be aware, there are people working in hospitality who are really struggling – we have seen it here in Australia, and with some of the world’s most talented chefs,” said Miguel.
R U OK? have welcomed Miguel’s support and hopes it will shine a light on suicide prevention for those who work hard to deliver positive experiences for their customers and staff.
“For those in the hospitality sector, it’s natural to feel shocked and upset by the recent news,” said Katherine Newton, Campaign Director at R U OK?. “We are grateful for the passion and commitment from those in the industry who want to help change lives by starting genuine conversations”.
“Hospitality workers, chefs, venue owners and industry publications have asked for help on how best to get the conversation started when you’re worried about someone, how to ask the question, and what to do when someone says, ‘No, I’m not OK.’ This interest and demand is spurring us on to do more to encourage open, honest conversations between workmates in the industry.”
“We are all human and we all go through life’s challenges. It’s ok to acknowledge the fact that those around us will likely need our non-judgemental support at some point. We need to learn how to listen and understand that we won’t always be able to fix someone’s problems – but we can help guide them towards professional support and find ways to help them manage the load. We need to let people know they need to know they can speak up and that support is out there.”
“Miguel’s support will be invaluable in helping us promote a culture that encourages those in hospitality to look out for their work family – in the kitchen, on the floor, during shifts and whenever it’s needed.”
In an Australia-wide survey of hospitality workers commissioned by the charity, 50 per cent of respondents said that in the past year they had wanted someone at work to ask them if they were OK; yet around 40 per cent had thought about asking someone else, but didn’t think it was their place to ask.
Further results revealed include:
- 80 per cent of hospitality workers agreed that mental health issues, such as feeling depressed, anxious or manic, are a challenge currently facing those in the industry.
- Fatigue was the number one challenge faced by those in the industry, more so in the 45 to 64 years age group.
- Within the older demographic, high employee turnover and frequent staff changes were noted as challenges.
- Those in the younger age bracket were more likely to reference unsociable work hours, dealing with difficult customers and pay challenges, as job stressors.
- On a positive note, the majority of those surveyed said they do feel that they can access support from colleagues, not just family and friends, should they need it.
- While 50 per cent of respondents said they had been asked by someone at work in the past 12 months if they were ok when they really needed it
- Around 50 per cent of hospitality workers in the last year said they had wanted someone at work to ask them if they were ok.
- Around 40 per cent had thought about asking someone if they were ok, but didn’t. When asked why, a third indicated that they didn’t feel it was their place to ask the question.
In response to these results, and funded with the help of Comcater and mental health fundraising initiative ‘Food for Thought’, R U OK? have teamed up with hospitality training provider Allara Learning to develop an online short course. The interactive course is designed to help notice the signs someone may be struggling, how to find the right space and time to ask the question, and how to navigate a conversation if someone says, “No, I’m not ok.”
A suite of free resources have been produced to compliment the online course, featuring the tagline ‘Chances are one of your work family needs to talk’. Resources include posters, stickers for roster boards, and a conversation guide.
R U OK?’s Hospitality resources are available at no cost and open source.
Source: R U OK?