9th May 2021

In a year full of anxiety, stress, fear and uncertainty, hospitality has been faced with countless challenges to overcome – changes to rules, multiple closures and an entirely new working regime for most. Here at RBH, we have upped our game on supporting mental fitness, making a commitment to ensure that no-one should be frightened or ashamed to talk openly about how they really feel, offering support, resources and an ear to listen.

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we caught up with our Group Learning & Development Manager over the launch of RBH’s mental fitness resource hub, as we proudly join the Mental Health Charter through our Giving Something Back pledge to our people.

With this year’s awareness theme centred around the crucial role that nature plays in our mental health, Niki opens up about the importance of her own mental health regime.

I am delighted to be part of the Mental Health Awareness Week and as part of our Giving Something Back to our employees and our on-going commitment to health and wellbeing we have included Mental Fitness as part of our #treeoflife. RBH are proud to have signed up to the Mental Health Charter.

RBH recognises that over the last 12 months people have had to live their lives in a very different way and this may have had implications on a person’s ability to cope, adapt, be happy, productive, solve problems. Mental fitness is important because it affects everything.

RBH see people as their best asset and as part of our People and Culture foundation and the desire to give something back to our employees along with our on-going commitment to health and wellbeing we have included Mental Fitness as part of our Tree of Life.

As part of our commitment we have partnered with the Mental Health Charter and our goals include:

  • Raising awareness of mental fitness across the organisation at every level
  • Offering tools and resources to enable every manager to have wellbeing conversations with their team members
  • Offering resources to all employees to help them recognise their levels of mental fitness and maintain or increase their ability to address any stress factors that may arise in their daily lives
  • Mental fitness forming part of daily talk and people can discuss how they feel without a fear of being judged

Our #treeoflife is very apt during Mental Health Awareness week and the theme of nature.

On a personal level I struggled and still struggle with the words mental health. These two words make me think about suicide, depression and anxiety. I can relate to mental fitness as I have had my share of highs and lows over the last year. It’s been a roller coaster. Mental Fitness has inspired me to take control of my life and start to talk about how I feel and also recognise my stress triggers and I am then able to put in counterbalances to help me live my best life.

On reflection I realise how much nature has played a part in my mental fitness. Last year I learned to grow vegetables, appreciate that I live so close to the sea and I never tire of the ever-changing views and the nature of the waves and the wildlife around me. I have a fantastic collection of sea glass too and also started litter picking and my recent finds have included plastic bananas and a part of a yellow rudder and big yellow bucket. I don’t even like the colour yellow but it makes me think of sunshine so it’s a happy colour for me.

I am no expert, but I admit to having had my mindset changed in the last year. To anyone who is struggling, think of your mental fitness as part of your mental health and like any kind of fitness it takes practice, it requires some effort and I know I could not do it alone. Speaking openly with friends, colleagues, peers and bosses this year has helped me to realise that I am not in this alone and at our RBH annual virtual conference recently when I asked if people had bought into the importance of mental health at work every single person said yes.

I am really looking forward to the coming months as we launch our mental fitness resource hub.