HBAA to host non-profit industry event on 15 May to promote wellbeing and minding your mental health

HBAA will be hosting a non-profit event, open to the industry on 15 May during National Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May) as the latest initiative in the HBAA’s mental health campaign.

This is a commitment not only to raise awareness of the huge scale of mental health issues in the hospitality and events industry but also to enable members and non-members to help themselves in their wellbeing, take action to prevent problems and address them ahead of when they occur.

The event at the Holiday Inn London, Kensington Forum, starting at 1.15pm, will feature an inspiring keynote speaker, Vikie Shanks, and experts providing advice on many aspects of wellbeing and mental health.

Open to all hospitality and event industry professionals, including non HBAA members, it will raise money to train even more HBAA members to become Mental Health First Aiders.

Key note speaker Vikie Shanks, sponsored by Wyboston Lakes, will deliver a presentation based on her own inspirational life story. Left to raise seven special needs children alone after he husband tragically committed suicide, Vikie will document her own journey to ‘normality’ as she tirelessly campaigns for greater awareness of autism, mental health and suicidality.

Recognised experts will provide advice on wellness in events, nutrition, breathing support and tips on how to get a better night’s sleep. The Samaritans will be discussing their great work and attendees are encouraged to come in activewear to participate in a spinathon. A health MOT, sponsored by Nuffield Health, the largest not-for-profit healthcare provider in the UK, will also be providing a free goodie bag containing NEOM organic products, water bottles and other wellbeing products.

Raffle prizes, including spa breaks, will be available to win on the day.

Spaces for the event are limited to 60 and to help maximise funding for more HBAA Mental Health First Aider training places, donations in lieu of attendance can be made by visiting www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/hbaa150519mhwb?utm_term=Rqm5DNy2W

This latest initiative forms part of HBAA’s comprehensive campaign which began in February, when the association’s Executive Committee and board completed training as Mental Health First Aiders.

To help tackle this growing problem, HBAA has created two open courses to enable both members and non-members to train their staff to become qualified Mental Health First Aiders. The first two-day course will take place on 2 & 3 May at the Macdonald Windsor Hotel and the second will be at the Macdonald Burlington Hotel in Birmingham on 20 & 21 June.

Full details of the event and how to book are available at https://hbaa.site-ym.com/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1223345&group=

Leigh Cowlishaw, HBAA past Chair and Board member who is leading the HBAA Mental Health Awareness campaign says; “From a recent survey; one in three people in the hospitality and events industry will experience a mental health issue and the sector is ranked in the top three sectors for stress and mental health problems. This latest initiative is one of several being implemented by the HBAA, and is designed to empower all those working in hospitality and events by providing tools and guidance to support them in their professional and personal lives.

“We want everyone to understand that ‘It’s OK Not To Be OK’, and that there is plenty of support available to them. This support and self-care is to enable you to look after your wellbeing maintenance and not just to be activated when you need to take time off sick, or visiting the doctors – it should be used as part of your daily routine to look out for yourself and others around you.”

An interview with Leigh Cowlishaw about this topic and event can be viewed at vimeo.com/325168945

For more information, please visit www.hbaa.org.uk