Warwickshire-based Belfry Hotel & Resort has launched fully funded and unlimited mental health counselling for its more than 800 members of staff.
The hotel has partnered with The Burnt Chef Project and Thrive Mental Wellbeing, in order to offer resources to aid the prevention, detection and management of mental health conditions. According to the employer, the launch aimed to address the fact that mental health problems are particularly prevalent among staff in the hospitality industry.
The Burnt Chef Project was founded in 2019 with the aim of reducing mental health stigma in the hospitality industry. It offers access to a 24/7 text-based support service, including access to confidential support relating to finance, relationships, management and counselling. It also provides mental health training for organisations.
Thrive Mental Wellbeing offers access to mental health support, digital therapy services, screening tools to detect conditions early, mindfulness guides, and reporting insights for the employer, via its app, which will be available to each Belfry Hotel employee. This includes support from therapists via video calls, phone calls or messaging.
Kirsten Price, head of people at The Belfry, said: “It’s no industry secret that the mental health and wellbeing of our workforce is a big topic of conversation, and rightly so. At The Belfry we want to continue our market-leading approach to supporting our teams whilst remaining employer of choice, and our partnership with The Burnt Chef Project helps us do exactly that.
“The Burnt Chef Project is helping us as an industry to start those important conversations, change the way in which we talk about, and manage, mental health and help us make a real difference. We’re looking forward to launching a range of initiatives with The Burnt Chef Project that aim to build awareness whilst also educating and supporting our teams to ensure that they can remain healthier in the workplace.”
Research released by the University of Cambridge and University College London found that in the UK, mental health problems accounted for more than half of all sickness absence days, and that better mental health support could save UK businesses up to £8 billion per year.
The Burnt Chef Project’s own research found that this issue was particularly acute within the hospitality industry, with 84% of employees in this space experiencing mental health issues during their careers, and that 46% would not feel comfortable discussing these concerns in the workplace.
Kris Hall, founder of The Burnt Chef Project, said: “This support tool enables The Belfry to move to a proactive position so individuals in their team can be truly in control of their wellbeing. It’s a vital component of not just providing easy access to mental health services to their teams and improving workplace wellbeing but also providing critical support to the managers we will be training.
“With over eight million people on the NHS waiting list for therapy currently it’s essential that we can provide access to both those experiencing difficulties with their mental health and wellbeing but also to those who may need more help to support their peers and colleagues.”
Chris Eigelaar, resort director at The Belfry Hotel & Resort, comments “We recognise the impact and serious nature of mental health wellness on our teams and with over 800 employees at The Belfry, it’s crucial that we provide the right support. Partnering with The Burnt Chef Project will give us access to Thrive Mental Wellbeing, an app that will be readily available to every employee, right in their pocket. I am committed to our team’s wellbeing and look forward to helping create a healthier and more sustainable industry.”
In order to recognise the hard work of employees and be an employer of choice, the new mental wellbeing support has been added to a roster of benefits that includes free meals, discounted room rates, food and drinks and spa treatments, reduced gym memberships for employees and partners, a discount scheme for high street retailers and leisure locations.