If you are in distress, you can call or text 988 at any time. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.

Home › Resources › Tips to Help Retail and Hospitality Employees Support Mental Health in the Workplace

Tips to Help Retail and Hospitality Employees Support Mental Health in the Workplace

As a retail or hospitality worker, you often face challenges during the holiday season. While these past few years have been especially difficult, you can still help your workplace become safer and healthier by focusing on your mental health and looking out for your team.

The following tips are designed to help you and your team support each other during this busy time.

Be aware of seasonal affective disorder

Winter can greatly affect our mood and mental health. Being mindful of the experiences you and others are having and checking in with your co-workers are good ways to begin supporting a mentally healthy workplace. Our mini-guide to help employees’ mental health through winter offers additional tips, tools, and resources.

Connect with resources

Connect frequently to learn about and share the supports that may be available inside (e.g., benefits, employee assistance program, peer support) and outside your organization, such as community resources and other free supports available. For extra supports, access a mental health crisis line in your area or CMHA Find Help.

Communicate with empathy

While you never truly know what someone else is dealing with in their personal lives or what the quality of their mental wellness might be, communicating with colleagues empathetically is a key aspect of a psychologically safe workplace. This article in The Catalyst can help you to learn how to do that.

Consider those around you

Even during busy times, life still happens. Yes, it’s harder to manage everything during the holiday season, but it’s also important to be flexible, where possible, and try and understand the demands your colleagues and co-workers are dealing with. Like you, they have obligations to family and friends. Keeping that in mind will make the season go a lot smoother. Being open with your needs and finding out about the needs of others can also help you work together as a team.

Protect yourself and others from harassment and bullying

To support you in dealing with difficult clients and customers, make sure to reach out to your manager to get any supports that are available. Also ensure that you are aware of the organization’s policies and processes and that you are following them accordingly. Be sure to support your team and colleagues during these challenging interactions. Additionally, The Mental Health in Retail Guidebook by Retail Council of Canada has some important guidance about mental health in the workplace and tips for de-escalation during difficult situations.

Feedback Form

Hey, thanks for checking out this resource. After you’ve seen it, we’d love to learn a bit more about your interests and how you found us. Was the information what you looking for? Was it helpful? We’ll use any feedback you provide to further improve what we do.

Are you willing to be contacted within 3 to 6 months for a short follow-up survey?
In case of “Yes” – please provide an email address
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



Workplace psychological health and safety are critical to our well-being and effectiveness. For health-care workers, the many challenges to being well at work have increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic,...

What am I getting wrong about mental health? While people in Canada are talking about mental health more than ever, misconceptions in the media and elsewhere are keeping the stigma...

During the busy holiday season, the mental health of retail and hospitality workers should be an organization’s central focus. With all the changes they’ve endured over the past few years,...