The QEII Centre will be taking 5asideCHESS’ Battling Suicide Bus to Hotel, Restaurant and Catering (HRC) at ExCeL London this week.
5asideCHESS is a social enterprise aimed at raising awareness of mental health issues and encouraging communication. It uses chess as an icebreaker to get people talking.
The bus will be parked on stand F769, where QEII are exhibiting. It will be run by QEII’s director of sales and marketing Diane Waldron, alongside representatives from 5asideCHESS and commercial kitchen cleaning specialists Bright Hygiene.
They will be rallying stakeholders from across the hospitality industry to apply for places in two forthcoming mental health discussions.
The discussions – one for industry leaders in hospitality and events and one for frontline staff – will take place on 5asideCHESS’s Battling Suicide Bus outside The QEII Centre in Westminster on Friday 20 March, with those who participate also pledging tangible action for industry-wide solutions to improve mental health.
Diane Waldron, director of sales and marketing at QEII, said: “I’ve worked in the event and hospitality industry for over 30 years. Both sectors are high-pressured environments which can lead to those working in them becoming stressed and developing mental health problems.
“We have seen increasing openness of mental health issues in recent years, which is a welcome step. However, through my involvement with 5asideCHESS’s Battling Suicide Bus over the last two years, I’ve spent a lot of time talking to people who are suffering and I am very aware that we still have a long way to go if we are to improve outcomes for those struggling with their mental health.
“That is why we at QEII are collaborating with stakeholders to bring about meaningful change in the industry. Where mental health is concerned, talking and listening are good, but action is better.”