Mental Health

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Mental health is increasingly becoming an issue we can’t ignore. With a sharp increase in suicide across the country, we want to help make support easily available.

We have gathered these national and CA state resources for those suffering from mental illness, addiction or grief and those wishing to offer support and learn more about mental illness.

UnitedHealth Group + Restaurants Care Presents

Mindful Minute

September: Positive & Consistent Communication

Statistic: 75% of hospitality workers say that consistent communication and check-ins with managers are some of the most impactful ways to foster a supportive workplace environment.1

Problem: In hospitality, we are all very busy and insufficient communication between manager and employees occurs for a variety of understandable reasons. Although it requires effort, if we do not make time for manager/ team communication we can create an unmotivated, uninformed, and discouraged team.

 “The ability of managers to communicate objectives, thoughtful decisions, openness to others, self-confidence, and loyalty to personal principles is important for increasing satisfaction (Baquero et al., 2019)… Unsatisfactory working conditions lead to work–family conflicts, time pressure, emotional exhaustion, and time stress, which ultimately result in high turnover rates (Deery & Jago, 2015).”2 I think we’ve all had enough of high turnover!

            Solutions: Establish communication protocols with your team, clearly communicate them, and consistently follow through.

  • Have casual daily check-ins, pre-shift lineups, or regularly scheduled team meetings.
  • Encourage your team to reach out to a manager or teammate if they are struggling; assure the team they will not be judged or penalized for doing so.
  • Create opportunities for team building and staff bonding outside of work hours.1

For resources and more information, visit healthy-hospitality.org or contact us at hospitalityhealth@uhg.com.

By Andrew Baughman

AUGUST: 988 is the new Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Note: This piece focuses mainly on the topic of suicide, but the new hotline can be used for any mental health emergency. This topic may be sensitive for some readers.

Statistic: “In 2020, an estimated 12.2 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.2 million attempted suicide.”1

Problem: Suicide and its associated stigmas exist in the hospitality industry just as they exist elsewhere. Those considering (or having considered or attempted) suicide are experiencing a tremendous amount of pain already (see “warning signs” below for reference), and the stigma surrounding their experiences can make their situation even more unbearable. Stigmas toward those who have thought about or attempted suicide can come in the form of unwanted assumptions, being perceived as fully intent on dying2, weak and unable to cope with problems, selfish, thoughtless, or attention-seeking3. This impacts many involved: “stigma toward suicide moves parallel to the problem of perceived stigma for both those who have attempted suicide and by [their] family members.”3 Surviving family and friends may also feel anger, guilt, symptoms of depression or anxiety, and even have thoughts of suicide themselves, making the issue of suicide far-reaching.1

Many people who feel conscious of this stigma have difficulty seeking help and even discussing their suicidal thoughts with their family and peers.2 This is a huge barrier to suicide prevention, not to mention how the stigma is experienced systemically within health care, insurance policies3, and employment2.

            Solutions: Suicide and its stigmas may seem like daunting topics to tackle as a person in a leadership position, but there are simple ways to encourage prevention and shift the culture:

  • Promote connectedness in your workplace by thoughtfully communicating with your team.
  • Establish company policies or programs that make mental health support accessible, such as an employee assistance program, telehealth, or simply demonstrate that you are there to support and help your employees.
  • Be aware of warning signs:
    • talking about wanting to die, hurt oneself, being a burden, or feeling trapped or hopeless
    • withdrawing or feeling isolated 
    • displaying extreme mood swings
    • increasing alcohol or drug use
    • acting severely anxious or agitated2,4
  • If concerned about a team member, sensitively ask questions such as:
    • “How are you coping with what’s been happening in your life?”
    • “Are you thinking about hurting yourself or dying?”
    • “It sounds like things are really rough right now, and I am concerned about you. Are you thinking about killing yourself?”2,4
  • Spread the word in the workplace about the new Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, 988, that connects people who are suicidal or in any other mental health crisis to a trained mental health professional.5

June: PTSD Awareness Month 

As June is upon us, summer changes manifest in all of our lives. An end of a school year for kids and the beginning of a relieving break, perhaps a stressful jumbling of schedules, or the start of the “busy season” or the “slow season”: such a transitional time for everyone can also bring about a time of reflection. 

For some, these reflections may be small, though not insignificant. For others, looking back at this time may involve feelings and traumas that are more difficult to tackle. The National Center for PTSD estimates that 60% of men and 50% of women will experience at least one incidence of trauma in their lives, any of which can cause long-term PTSD. Considering that statistic, it’s likely that someone in your workplace is experiencing PTSD of some kind.

What can PTSD look like, you ask? PTSD results from experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. PTSD can cause lasting, disruptive impacts on someone’s life, including nightmares, heightened anxiety, unhealthy coping mechanisms, and avoiding daily situations that remind someone of the incident. 

That’s where employers come in: it’s essential to understand how PTSD can impact employees of all levels and to meet it with knowledge and compassion. No one should suffer alone, and everyone deserves to live their happiest, healthiest life. Let’s make this summer, and every day, an understanding one. Visit https://healthy-hospitality.org/  for resources to help you and your team stay physically and mentally healthy throughout the year. 

Sources: 

PTSD: National Center for PTSD Home (va.gov)

PTSD Awareness Month: What is PTSD? – Home Base Program

APRIL: The Many Benefits of Grounding

This month’s Mindful Minute is focused on the many benefits of “Grounding”. This simple act has re-energizing results. Give it a try!

JANUARY: Simple ways to combat the Winter Blues

https://view.highspot.com/viewer/61df1f78e05cd9c6f7c4cd04

Millions of Americans suffer from S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder). If you’re feeling a little down this time of year, you’re not alone! Here are 3 simple ways to improve your mood.

DECEMBER: Take time for a walk to help your stress

Mindful walking by yourself can help your stress and anxiety. There’s no minimum amount of time required to get the benefit. Just walking around the block can help. Listen to Dr. Kate from PatientsLikeMe discuss how to reduce stress and anxiety with walking.

series 

Wellness Webinars

MAXED OUT! MANAGING STRESS FOR YOU, YOUR GUESTS, AND STAFF

Learn practical stress management strategies and how to create an emotionally safe environment for you, your staff and your guests. This webinar is focused on wellness needs for the foodservice community.

Awareness and Support for Substance Use + Suicide Prevention

This presentation will seek to shed light on why substance use and suicide prevention efforts matter for owners and management, as well as what they can do to create a culture of support. Restaurant owners and managers will walk away with tangible strategies and tools to support their employees.  

MANAGING FINANCIAL ANXIETY DURING A PANDEMIC

These are scary and unpredictable times. Many of you have had to make tough decisions and worrying about how to get by financially can be overwhelming. Our experts will share insights on the economic outlook, provide practical advice and tools for coping, and connect you to resources to help you weather this storm.

you’re not alone

Individual Resources 

Each Mind Matters

Each Mind Matters is millions of individuals and thousands of organizations working to advance mental health. We are California’s Mental Health Movement.

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I Got Your Back

The goal of the I Got Your Back program to provide tools and skills to identify and talk about mental health issues in a safe environment that encourages people to seek the help they may need.

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LivingWorks

LivingWorks Start teaches life-saving suicide prevention skills in as little as one hour online. Dynamic, interactive content provides a high-impact learning experience.

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NAMI

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

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Optum Help Line

24/7 Free emotional mental health support for anxiety or stress related to COVID-19, please call 866.342.6892.

Rehabs.com

A comprehensive list of California inpatient addiction rehab programs.

Sleep and Grief

Understanding the Effects of Grief on Sleep. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to better health and better rest. From figuring out how to buy a mattress, suggesting ones that work for different folks, or breaking down the newest science behind technology and wellness breakthroughs, we’ve got you.

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The Trevor Project

Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.

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UnitedHealthcare

At UnitedHealthcare, we serve millions of people from their earliest years through their working lives and into retirement. What unites us is our mission to help people live healthier lives and make the health system work better for everyone.

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together we can make a difference

Employer Resources

CRA Industry Insight

The Mental Health Crisis in the Restaurant Industry: Assessing Its Legal Implications, Employer Obligations and Recommendations

READ INDUSTRY INSIGHT

I Got Your Back

The goal of the I Got Your Back program to provide tools and skills to identify and talk about mental health issues in a safe environment that encourages people to seek the help they may need.

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Mental Health First Aid Training

Mental Health First Aid is a course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

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