Australia’s hospitality workers suffering mental health epidemic

Stress and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has brought forth a mental health crisis in and hospitality workers have been affected in epidemic proportions a new survey indicates.

The recent survey by digital platform Barcats, reveals 88 percent of Australia’s hospitality workers are “suffering from increased stress and anxiety due to COVID-19, with females, head chefs, Queenslanders and those on student visas faring the worst”. 

The survey of 360 hospitality staff in Australia found that over 78 percent had lost their job or been laid off because of COVID-19 and their mental wellbeing is now being affected.

Jeffrey Williams, CEO and Founder of Barcats explained: “The mental health of female hospitality workers seems to be most at risk with 90.83 percent reporting they are suffering increased anxiety and stress as a direct result of COVID-19, compared to 85.27 percent of male hospitality workers.

“Across the states, Queensland’s hospitality workers have been the most effected by COVID-19, with 92.86 percent reporting an increase in anxiety and stress due to the global pandemic, compared to 87.96 percent of hospitality workers in Victoria and just 86.03 percent in New South Wales despite New South Wales being the hotspot for the virus.”

“Our head chefs, managers and supervisors are feeling the most pressure than any other role with 91.55 percent suffering from increased anxiety and stress as a result of the global pandemic,” stated Williams.

However, the most alarming rates come from the country’s hospitality workers on student visas, with over 92 percent “feeling more or significantly more stressed and anxious due to COVID-19, with the majority concerned with not being able to afford their current rent, bills and groceries”.

Over a third of hospitality workers fear not being able to find another job for the foreseeable future and this the leading cause of their increased anxiety, most concerned about not affording rent, bills and groceries.

Williams also states: “Being exposed to the virus, not being able to see work colleagues and having to withdraw money early from Super accounts are having little effect on the mental health of Australia’s hospitality workers.”

“During these uncertain times, we’ve been connecting our community of 70,000 hospitality professionals to jobs in other sectors that are still in demand, to support our community and keep staff employed. We’ve also been working with government bodies, non-for-profits and our sponsors such Fairwork Ombudsman, Clubs Plus Super, RUOK and Diageo to keep the community informed of upskilling opportunities, helpful initiatives such as food donations.”

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