Mind Matters: Exploring Employees' Mental Health Literacy in the Hotel Industry
Keywords:Mental Health, Mental Health Literacy , Hospitality
One in five hospitality employees suffers from work-related mental health issues. Thus, promoting mental health literacy could better manage employees’ mental health. This study aims to explore mental health literacy among hotel employees. Ten hotel employees from four- and five-star hotels in Malaysia were interviewed and thematic analysis was conducted. Findings show employees demonstrated sound mental health literacy manifested into four themes: function of mental health, mental illness contributors, implications of mental illness, and intervention techniques. Mental health literacy empowers employees to recognize signs of mental illness, promoting prompt help-seeking and preventing further deterioration of mental health.
Aguiar-Quintana, T., Nguyen, T. H., Araujo-Cabrera, Y., & Sanabria-Díaz, J. M. (2021) Do job insecurity, anxiety and depression caused by the COVID-19 pandemic influence hotel employees’ self-rated task performance? The moderating role of employee resilience. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 94, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2021.102868 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2021.102868
Behere, A. P., Basnet, P., & Campbell, P. (2017). Effects of family structure on mental health of children: A preliminary study. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 39(4), 457-463. https://doi.org/10.4103/0253-7176.211767 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4103/0253-7176.211767
Borenstein, J. (2020). Stigma and discrimination. American Psychiatric Association. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/stigma-and-discrimination
Boyd, C. O. (2001). Phenomenology the method. In nursing research: A qualitative perspective (3rd ed., pp. 93-122). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
British Safety Council. (2018). Workplace wellbeing – Is it working? https://www.britsafe.org/about-us/press-releases/2018/workplace-wellbeing-is-it-working/
Calvalho, M., Rahim, R., & Tan, T. (2023). KL has highest number of depression, anxiety cases, says Dr Zaliha. The Star. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2023/03/08/kl-has-highest-number-of-depression-anxiety-cases-says-dr-zaliha
Carmichael, A., Coe, E. H., & Dewhurst, M. (2022). Employee mental health and burnout in Asia: A time to act. McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-asia/employee-mental-health-and-burnout-in-asia-a-time-to-act
Castro-Casal, C., Vila-Vázquez, G., & Pardo-Gayoso, Á. (2019). Sustaining affective commitment and extra-role service among hospitality employees: Interactive effect of empowerment and service training. Sustainability, 11(15), 4092. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154092 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154092
Chiang, F. F., Birtch, T. A., & Kwan, H. K. (2010). The moderating roles of job control and work-life balance practices on employee stress in the hotel and catering industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 29(1), 25-32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2009.04.005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2009.04.005
Citrome, L. L. (2022). Aggression: Overview, epidemiology, assessment and differential diagnosis. Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/288689-overview?form=fpf
Constanti, P., & Gibbs, P. (2005). Emotional labour and surplus value: The case of holiday ‘reps’. The Service Industries Journal, 25(1), 103-116. https://doi.org/10.1080/0264206042000302432 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0264206042000302432
Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (2nd ed.). SAGE.
Elshaer, A. M. (2019). Labor in the tourism and hospitality industry: Skills, ethics, issues, and rights (1st ed.). Apple Academic Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1201/9780429465093
Ferguson, S. (2020). Yes, mental illness can cause physical symptoms — Here's why. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/mental-illness-can-cause-physical-symptoms
Ganesh, V. S. (2022). Mental health awareness and screening should be conducted at workplace to address suicides. New Straits Time. https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2022/06/801635/mental-health-awareness-and-screening-should-be-conducted-workplace
Gilmour, H., & Patten, S.B. (2007). Depression and work impairment. Health reports, 18(1), 9-22.
Grinspoon, P. (2022). How to recognize and tame your cognitive distortions. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-to-recognize-and-tame-your-cognitive-distortions-202205042738
Haddad, P., & Haddad, I. (2015). Mental health stigma. The British Association for Psychopharmacology. https://www.bap.org.uk/articles/mental-health-stigma/
Hakim, L. (2023). RM34.5m boost for mental healthcare, support services. New Straits Times. https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2023/08/938692/rm345m-boost-mental-healthcare-support-services
Hassan, M. F., Hassan, N. M., Kassim, E. S., & Hamzah, M. I. (2018). Issues and challenges of mental health in Malaysia. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 8(12), 1685–1696. https://doi.org/10.6007/ijarbss/v8-i12/5288 DOI: https://doi.org/10.6007/IJARBSS/v8-i12/5288
Ibrahim, N., Amit, N., Shahar, S., Wee, L., Ismail, R., Khairuddin, R., Siau, C. S., & Safien, A. M. (2019). Do depression literacy, mental illness beliefs and stigma influence mental health help-seeking attitude? A cross-sectional study of secondary school and university students from B40 households in Malaysia. BMC Public Health, 19(S4). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6862-6 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6862-6
Jansson, I., & Gunnarsson, A. B. (2018). Employers’ views of the impact of mental health problems on the ability to work. Work, 59(4), 585-598. https://doi.org/10.3233/wor-182700 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/WOR-182700
Jenius. (2019). Mental health for employees. Sihat Malaysia. https://sihatmalaysia.my/mental-health-for-employees/
Jorm, A. F., Korten, A. E., Jacomb, P. A., Christensen, H., Rodgers, B., & Pollitt, P. (1997). Mental health literacy: A survey of the public's ability to recognise mental disorders and their beliefs about the effectiveness of treatment. Medical Journal of Australia, 166(4), 182-186. https://doi.org/10.5694/j.1326-5377.1997.tb140071.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.5694/j.1326-5377.1997.tb140071.x
Kesby, J. (2020). How do mental disorders impact our decision-making? The University of Queensland Australia. https://qbi.uq.edu.au/blog/2020/10/how-do-mental-disorders-impact-our-decision-making#:~:text=But%20mental%20disorders%20often%20cause,longer%20as%20valuable%20as%20B
Khan, M. A., & Hashim, H. (2020). The effect of COVID-19 on tourism and hospitality industry in Malaysia, resurgence in the post-pandemic era: A conceptual criterion. International Journal of Tourism & Hospitality Reviews, 7(2), 54-62. https://doi.org/10.18510/ijthr.2020.726 DOI: https://doi.org/10.18510/ijthr.2020.726
Khan, K. I., Niazi, A., Nasir, A., Hussain, M., & Khan, M. I. (2021). The effect of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry: The implication for open innovation. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 7(1), 30. https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc7010030 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc7010030
Khatib, A., & Abo-Rass, F. (2021). Mental health literacy among Arab university students in Israel: A qualitative study. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1177/00207640211036167 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/00207640211036167
Kotera, Y., Adhikari, P., & Van Gordon, W. (2018). Motivation types and mental health of UK hospitality workers. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 16(3), 751-763. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-018-9874-z DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-018-9874-z
Kutcher, S., Wei, Y., & Coniglio, C. (2016). Mental health literacy. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 61(3), 154-158. https://doi.org/10.1177/0706743715616609 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0706743715616609
Kwan, F. (2022). How can workplaces effectively support employees' mental health? Astro Awani. https://www.astroawani.com/berita-malaysia/how-can-workplaces-effectively-support-employees-mental-health-385224
Midin, M., Zainal, N. Z., Toh, C. L., & Ibrahim, N. (2018). Mental health services in Malaysia. Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry, 32(4), 281-292.
Mohamed Hussain, S. N., Husna, H., Azfar, M. A., Ismail, S., & Mohd Nazan, A. I. (2020). Sociodemographic factors of mental health literacy among housewives living in low-cost apartments in Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Medicine and Health Sciences, 16(1), 121-125.
Mulvaney, R. H., O’Neill, J. W., Cleveland, J. N., & Crouter, A. C. (2007). A model of work-family dynamics of hotel managers. Annals of Tourism Research, 34(1), 66-87. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2006.07.002
Munawar, K., Mukhtar, F., Choudhry, F. R., & Ng, A. L. (2021). Mental health literacy: A systematic review of knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders in Malaysia. Asia-Pacific Psychiatry, 14(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1111/appy.12475 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/appy.12475
Nadrian, H., Taghdisi, M. H., Pouyesh, K., Khazaee-Pool, M., & Babazadeh, T. (2019). “I am sick and tired of this congestion”: Perceptions of Sanandaj inhabitants on the family mental health impacts of urban traffic jam. Journal of Transport & Health, 14, 100587. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jth.2019.100587 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jth.2019.100587
Nealon, M. (2021). The pandemic accelerant: How COVID-19 advanced our mental health priorities. United Nations. https://www.un.org/en/un-chronicle/pandemic-accelerant-how-covid-19-advanced-our-mental-health-priorities
Okello, E. S., Abbo, C., Muhwezi, W. W., Akello, G., & Ovuga, E. (2014). Mental health literacy among secondary school students in North and Central Uganda: A qualitative study. World Cultural Psychiatry Research Review: Official Journal of World Association of Cultural Psychiatry, 9(3), 70–80.
Park, E., Kim, W., & Kim, S. (2020). Tracking tourism and hospitality employees’ real- time perceptions and emotions in an online community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Current Issues in Tourism, 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2020.1823336 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2020.1823336
Pantic, I. (2014). Online social networking and mental health. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 17(10), 652-657. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2014.0070 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2014.0070
Reichenberg, A., & MacCabe J. H.. (2007). Feeling the pressure: Work stress and mental health. Psychological Medicine, 37(8), 1073-1074. doi:10.1017/S0033291707000888 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291707000888
Rathod, S., Pinninti, N., Irfan, M., Gorczynski, P., Rathod, P., Gega, L., & Naeem, F. (2017). Mental health service provision in low- and middle-income countries. Health Services Insights, 10, 117863291769435. https://doi.org/10.1177/1178632917694350 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1178632917694350
Royal Society for Public Health. (2019). Service with(out) a smile. Royal Society for Public Health UK. https://www.rsph.org.uk/about-us/news/one-in-five-hospitality-workers-suffer-from-work-related-severe-mental-health-issues.html
Sachdev, P. (2021). What is emotional dysregulation? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-emotional-dysregulation
UNICEF, National Institutes of Health Malaysia, & Burnet Institute. (2022). Strengthening mental health and psychosocial support systems and services for children and adolescents in East Asia and Pacific Region: Malaysia country report. UNICEF.
Sayeed, A., Kundu, S., Banna, H. A., Christopher, E., Hasan, M. T., Begum, M. R., Chowdhury, S., & Khan, S. I. (2020). Mental health outcomes of adults with comorbidity and chronic diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic: A matched case-control study. Psychiatria Danubina, 32(3-4), 491-498. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/qh6b5https://www.unicef.org/eap/media/11811/file/Malaysia%20Country%20Report.pdf DOI: https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/qh6b5
Semrau, M., Alem, A., Ayuso-Mateos, J. L., Chisholm, D., Gureje, O., Hanlon, C., Jordans, M., Kigozi, F., Lund, C., Petersen, I., Shidhaye, R., &Thornicroft, G. (2019). Strengthening mental health systems in low- and middle-income countries: Recommendations from the Emerald programme. BJPsych Open, 5(5).112 https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2018.90 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2018.90
Tepeci, M., & Bartlett, A. (2002). The hospitality industry culture profile: A measure of individual values, organizational culture, and person–organization fit as predictors of job satisfaction and behavioral intentions. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 21(2), 151-170. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0278-4319(01)00035-4 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0278-4319(01)00035-4
Tsaur, S., & Tang, Y. (2012). Job stress and well-being of female employees in hospitality: The role of regulatory leisure coping styles. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 31(4), 1038-1044. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2011.12.009 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2011.12.009
Yampolskaya, S., Mowery, D., & Dollard, N. (2013). Predictors for readmission into children’s inpatient mental health treatment. Community Mental Health Journal, 49(6), 781-786. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-013-9592-8 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-013-9592-8
Varga, S., Mistry, T. G., Ali, F., & Cobanoglu, C. (2021). Employee perceptions of wellness programs in the hospitality industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 33(10), 3331-3354. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijchm-12-2020-1417 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-12-2020-1417
World Health Organization (2004). Promoting mental health: Concepts, emerging evidence, practice: Summary report. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/en/promoting_mhh.pdf
Zhao, X., & Ghiselli, R. (2016). Why do you feel stressed in a “smile factory”? International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 28(2), 305-326. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijchm-08-2014-0385 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-08-2014-0385
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Nurfatihah Mazlan, Norzuwana Sumarjan, Khairun Najiah Ahmad, Nadia Hanin Nazlan, Dwi Suhartanto
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.