Top News Mental health comes into WTTC’s focus By TTG Asia / Posted on 15 January, 2021 12:57 The WTTC has released a set of mental health guidelines to support tourism workers and help businesses build back better from the pandemic. Suited for businesses of all sizes, the Mental Health Guidelines build on the Diversity & Inclusion Guidelines released by WTTC last year, going one step deeper to focus on mental well-being. Investment in mental health promotes good business and greater profitability: WTTC The guidelines come at a time when mental health could not be more important. With lockdowns, quarantines, job losses and uncertainty looming larger than ever all against the backdrop of winter, it is crucial that mental health support is given space in the conversations around recovery. Gloria Guevara, president & CEO, WTTC, said: “After nearly a full year of insecurity and hardship that has come from the Covid-19 pandemic, the time could not be more appropriate to invest in the mental well-being of (the travel and tourism) sector.” Research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development showed that more than 95 per cent feel that poor mental health affects their performance at work, while 85 per cent say it is difficult to concentrate when struggling with poor mental health, and 64 per cent feel that it takes them longer to complete tasks. Furthermore, research conducted by the WHO revealed a US$4 return in improved health and productivity, for every US$1 investment in improved treatment for common mental disorders. As such, WTTC, alongside leading health authorities and private sector leaders, compiled the Mental Health Guidelines which are divided into four pillars: Developing a Supportive System, Creating Safe Spaces, Supporting an Agile System, and Exemplifying Support for Good Mental Health. Some of the guidelines include: • Provide appropriate mental health support within the organisational structure, including access to professional and specialised support through the local health authority and/or the business itself. • Develop leave policies that offer equivalent time off and/or concessions for mental and physical health, without prejudice. • Develop feedback systems that allow employees to share if and how the current systems are working well or not to meet staff needs. • Foster an environment that respects the value of well-being, at all levels of the organisation, and does not ostracise those with mental health conditions, whether common or less common. • Consider incorporating intentional wellness elements in the design of new buildings, offices, locations, and/or spaces. • Engage with like-minded businesses and associations to share best practices and improve support for and awareness of mental health. View the guidelines here.