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Mental Health Week: Hull restaurant to train members of staff as Mental Health First Aiders

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Ambiente Tapas, a popular independent tapas restaurant and sherry bar with sites in York, Leeds and Hull, is proud to announce its commitment to championing mental health within the workplace. In a ground-breaking move, the restaurant has taken the initiative to train key members of its team as Mental Health First Aiders, reinforcing its dedication to the well-being of its employees.

Mental health is an important aspect of overall well-being, yet it remains a topic that is often overlooked or stigmatised, especially in the hospitality industry. Recognising the need for change, Ambiente Tapas has taken a proactive approach to prioritising mental health within its HR Policy. By empowering its staff as Mental Health First Aiders, the restaurant is creating a safe and supportive environment for its employees and everyone who walks through its doors.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a globally recognized training program that equips individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to provide initial support to someone experiencing a mental health crisis or struggling with their mental well-being. Ambiente Tapas has collaborated with Connect2Care, industry experts, who deliver award-winning vocational training to develop outstanding employees whilst helping organisations create a safe, caring, effective and well-led environment. They delivered comprehensive MHFA training to 9 members of their management team, ensuring they are equipped to recognize and respond effectively to mental health concerns.

Through this ground-breaking initiative, Ambiente Tapas aims to break down the barriers surrounding mental health conversations. By having Mental Health First Aiders present in the restaurant, both employees and customers can feel reassured that there is a compassionate and understanding support system in place. This fosters an environment where mental health concerns can be openly discussed without fear of judgement or discrimination.

The Operations team at Ambiente Tapas, who undertook the Mental Health First Aid Training at the end of 2022, firmly believes that mental health should be treated with the same importance as physical health. By taking this proactive step, the restaurant aims to normalise discussions about mental health and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. Their goal is to create an inclusive space where individuals feel comfortable reaching out for help or engaging in meaningful conversations about mental well-being.

Rob Scott-South, Group General Manager at Ambiente Tapas, said: “Championing mental health in the restaurant industry is about nourishing the well-being of our employees. By championing mental health in our restaurants, we’re helping to make a step in the right direction to destigmatise mental health in the restaurant industry as a whole. We believe that fostering a safe space for open conversations about mental health and providing a support network for those who need it through our Mental Health First Aiders, will contribute to the overall health, happiness and wellbeing of our team. By prioritising Mental Health well-being, we’re serving up a recipe for positive change and creating an environment that feeds the mind.”

In addition to providing MHFA-trained staff, Ambiente Tapas already has an established Employee Assistance Programme, Croner, which has been running within the organisation for a number of years. This provides their team with access to a 24-hour confidential helpline to support them through any of life’s issues or problems. 

Ambiente Tapas is leading the way in the food industry by demonstrating that it is possible to create a restaurant environment that prioritises mental health. Their commitment to training staff as Mental Health First Aiders and fostering an open dialogue about mental well-being sets a positive example for other establishments in the industry.

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