IHG is partnering with R U OK? to develop a training manual to spot mental health warning signs.

IHG Hotels and Resorts has announced a collaboration with mental health awareness charity R U OK? to support the mental health of struggling hospitality industry workers.

The company and the charity will work together to produce the first Hospitality Mateship Manual, designed to help industry staff spot warning signs and act to provide support to company and industry colleagues needing assistance during lockdowns and downturns.

IHG Hotels and Resorts Senior Vice President and Managing Director Japan, Australasia and Pacific, Leanne Harwood, said she was pleased IHG had the opportunity to work with R U OK? and develop the Mateship Manual across the hospitality landscape.

IHG Hotels and Resorts Senior VP and Managing Director Japan, Australasia and Pacific, Leanne Harwood.

“Our hotel teams have all experienced varying degrees of anguish over the last 12-18 months, and it is times like these that we need to do everything we can to support our people,” Harwood said.

“We recognise acutely that each of our colleagues are on their own journey, but the most important thing they can do right now is check in on each other and open up a conversation around if they’re ok. With the support of R U OK and these manuals, we are ensuring our teams are equipped with the knowhow to be able to have these conversations, and for that we are truly grateful.”

The manual is designed to help colleagues and management spot warning signs and act to support workers.

R U OK? CEO Katherine Newton said COVID-19 has placed immense levels of pressure on the hospitality industry and its workers.

“We are really pleased that IHG is supporting the amplification of the R U OK? Hospitality Mateship Manual and sharing this resource with all of their staff, this is the manor for which this resource was developed and intended,” she said.

“This action is providing a direct pathway for the R U OK? message and tools to reach members of the hospitality industry to provide them with the tools to help one other during challenging times as the look for the signs and know what to do when someone says that they are not okay”

IHG will also conduct mental health first-aid training with a view to being fully qualified by the end of 2021. Hotel General Managers have also undertaken this training, which will help to equip trainees with the knowledge, skills and confidence to provide support for those experiencing distress.