Skip to main content
Visit Scotland | Alba

The pandemic has had a major impact on the wellbeing and mental health of many people working in tourism, which is widely accepted as the global industry most affected.

As businesses face ongoing challenges and continued uncertainty, it's vital that employers look after their own mental health and support their staff to do the same. 

Stress affects us all in different ways, and it's only normal to feel anxious about what the future holds, so we’ve put together some tips and resources on managing mental health.

1. Look after yourself

First things first – it’s so important that we take care of our own mental health and are able to recognise problems when they happen.

Mental health issues cover a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Anxiety – this can encompass feelings of worry, tension or fear. Although it is common to be anxious, especially at times of stress, it can lead to panic attacks or affect your everyday life.
  • Depression – a feeling of low mood that affects everyday life, depression can be mild or it can be severe and life-threatening.
  • Eating problems – these emerge when people have a difficult relationship with food, sometimes leading to disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.     
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder – OCD can cause people to have obsessive thoughts, intense anxiety or display repetitive behaviours.
  • Bipolar disorder – this is a specific condition which affects someone’s moods, which can swing from one extreme to another.

Business Gateway has a great guide explaining why mental health matters, the signs to watch out for when our mental health is being impacted and some tips to support you.

The charity Scottish Association for Mental Health also has some practical tips on lifestyle changes and techniques to help manage any problems:

  • Stay aware of your mental health so you can spot any warning signs if you need support
  • Connect with other people and build your own network
  • Look after your physical health – by getting enough sleep, eating well and exercising, it can help your mental health
  • Contact a medical professional or specialist organisation if you are struggling as help, through therapies and medication, is available.

Two women chatting over lunch in a restaurant

2. Check in

All employers have a duty of care to their employees and this includes welfare as well as physical health and safety.

Check in with your staff and make sure that they are coping with the ongoing challenges.

  • Reassure staff that their safety and wellbeing is a priority and keep an open dialogue with managers and staff on how they are feeling.
  • Encourage your team members to complete a Wellness Action Plan created by the charity Mind and share this with you. There are guides for line managers, for employees and one specifically for people working from home. They will offer practical steps to help support good mental health.
  • Provide and promote access to mental health support for all employees, including awareness raising, and tools and techniques to manage mental health.
  • With many continuing to work from home, we know that it can be isolating; ensure you and your team talk regularly, whether it’s virtually or, where possible, in person.

3. Reach out for support

Reach out if you need support for you or your staff. There are many support channels available for the workplace: 

  • Hospitality Health is a Scottish charity to support staff in the world of hospitality, providing wellbeing advice, videos and an employee assistant programme.
  • Business Gateway offers a range of support to businesses, including HR advice and wellbeing information and has a variety of resources on its website such as webinars and online tutorials. 
  • ACAS provides advice and guidance for managers and businesses to enable them to support employees’ mental health.
  • The Scottish Association for Mental Health has a wealth of resources for both individuals and employers.  
  • Mental Health at Work also has a number of resources for line managers and staff and you can search for ones relevant to your sector.

4. Practical resources for managers

Topic

Resource

Clear your head campaign partner toolkit

Clear your head campaign assets, in a range of languages and accessible formats, for use by businesses to support the physical and mental health of employees and customers 

Acas guide to positive mental health at work

Framework for creating positive mental health at work on the Acas website

Advice on how to implement a wellness action plan

Find wellness action plans on the Mind website

Making adjustments to support your staff at work

Reasonable adjustments at work guidance on the Scottish Association for Mental Health website

Guide for line managers: what can you do to help a team member returning to work?

 Find out more on the Mental Health at Work website

How to implement the Thriving at Work mental health standards in your workplace

Find out more on the Mental Health at Work website

Guide for Managing stress in the workplace for people working in hospitality

Read the full guide on the Scottish Association for Mental Health

 

5. Advice for individuals

There are a lot of online resources specifically designed to help you cope with stress and metal health issues. If you are feeling overwhelmed, help is available:  

  • NHS Inform – includes help and advice about how to access support and what to do if you're worried about your mental health
  • The Samaritans – provides a range of information on the effects of coronavirus on mental health. You can call the Samaritans 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on 116 123.
  • Clear Your Head – aims to help support people with their mental health and provides simple tips to help cope and signposting to information and support.
  • Mind – offer free national advice and support for anyone experiencing a mental health problem with events and workshops that employees can attend to increase awareness.
  • Breathing Space – offers advice and support confidentially on 0800 83 85 87 and the website contains tips on staying connected and other information.  

A couple enjoy dinner at the Black Ivy Hotel in Edinburgh

Related links