These are incredibly difficult times. People across our community are struggling not just financially, but also physically and emotionally. With this mailing, we wanted to highlight organizations, groups, and resources that are working widely as well as specifically within the food community on issues around sobriety and mental health. Thank you to Colleen Vincent, director of culinary community initiatives at the James Beard Foundation, for the resources.
I wanted to share a few words from Colleen: “While all work is valuable work, we are all of far more value than our work. Pick up the phone every day to check in on one another, because the only way we get through this is together.”
If you or someone you know is in danger or needs immediate assistance, please call 911 or the following numbers:
- Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1.800.273.8255
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and Narcotics Anonymous (N.A.) are both national organizations supporting those in recovery. A.A. is offering members digital meetings in response to coronavirus pandemic.
We also wanted to provide you the below industry-specific resources:
Ben’s Friends is the food and beverage industry support group offering hope, fellowship, and a path forward to professionals who struggle with substance abuse and addiction. It exists to provide a safe haven and an anonymous, judgment-free forum for workers in an industry that has one of the highest rates of substance abuse in the country. Ben’s Friends models acceptance and gratitude, and though unaffiliated with A.A. or N.A., shares an important commonality: the only thing you need to bring through the door is a desire to stop drinking or using. There are currently Ben’s Friends groups in Asheville, NC; Austin; Boston; Charleston, SC; Charlotte, NC; Columbus, OH; Kansas City, MO; Louisville, KY; Portland, OR; Raleigh, NC; Richmond, VA; Savannah, GA; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.
Chefs With Issues is a website built by writer Kat Kinsman. On this site, people involved in the industry (not just chefs) can share their stories and resources for dealing with the particular pressures of restaurant life, so that other people may feel less alone. Chefs With Issues also has a Facebook group you can apply to join.
- Coronavirus: Mental Health Coping Strategies [National Alliance on Mental Illness]
- Coping with the coronavirus pandemic for people with anxiety disorder [Harvard Health]
- Online Help to Stay Sober During a Pandemic [New York Times]
- The Food & Wine Pro Guide to Mental Health and Sobriety Resources [F&W Pro]