Our organization is still young.
If you are in a crisis please call 911, OR the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255
OR text HOME to 741741 to speak to a live counselor at The Crisis Text Line
Restaurant After Hours is a 501c3 charitable organization based in NYC, aiming to provide accessible counseling services to hospitality workers by trained and licensed counseling professionals.
With stories involving mental health in the hospitality industry running rampant, our goal is to advocate for mental health awareness and provide support to the people who need it.
Let us help start the conversation. Schedule a mental health presentation at your restaurant or hotel and learn about what you can do to help your employees achieve their full potential.
In the past few years, mental health issues in the hospitality industry have come to light. For many, the high-stress, fast-paced environment fuels addictions to substance abuse.
Hospitality workers face immense pressure to satisfy customers, co-workers, and supervisors. Known to many as "occupational hazards", the hospitality industry lends itself to a culture of late-night binge drinking, harassment (verbal, physical, and sexual), substance abuse, eating disorders, poor living and working conditions which result in low self-esteem, poor relationships with loved ones, depression and anxiety symptoms, and even suicide.
With immense pressure comes low wages. For those looking to break the cycle and turn to professional help, many counseling services are out of reach. Restaurant After Hours established itself to fill this need.
In the last two years chefs and restauranteurs have begun to come forward with the mental health issues the industry faces. Talks about addiction, violence, stress, turnover, heavy workloads, and the #MeToo movement are becoming streamlined.
Restaurants across the country are beginning to change their entire business models to focus on their employees. These include limited hours, higher pay, offering health insurance, and better workplace conditions.
However, even with better benefits in place, it is not enough to fix someone's personal life. Industry standards prevent employees from bringing their personal lives into work. They are responsible for being physically and mentally present, focusing on a multitude of responsibilities in harsh working conditions, and ignoring their personal problems for 10-14 hours a day.
Restaurant After Hours was conceived to begin to fix the tangibles hospitality workers face outside of the restaurant business model. With a median salary of just $29,000 in New York City, most hospitality employees can not afford insurance, let alone counseling for themselves. We are here to provide valuable information to those employees who need it.
We are here to raise mental health awareness, create a safe community, and begin to help hospitality workers structure their personal lives.
We are here to support the industry that nourishes us.
Understanding mental health in the hospitality industry is listening to the stories of those who live it. Click below to go to our "Articles" section.
Remember, just because we started talking about it, doesn't mean the problem has been solved.
These industry employees were brave enough to share their stories.
Help us help you! We have added a mental health survey for those working in the hospitality industry. Responses will remain completely anonymous. In the last few years many articles have been written about mental health issues in the hospitality industry, but not much statistical data has been put together to prove it. Please take 3 min out of your day to help us put that data together. Answers will help us create more accurate counseling services as well as give us access to more funding for our programs.
Please contact us anytime with any questions or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org
Excerpt taken from an article by Kate Anticoli for the TenEleven Group:
Working In Hell's Kitchen
"Working in a restaurant is stressful. There's a lot of pressure to create and replicate dishes that meet the restaurant's standards. Flaring tempers are more common in this setting than in a traditional workplace. And working odd hours has more of an effect on a person's mental well-being than one might think. One chef noted when he gets home from work at 1am, it's lonely. His wife is asleep, as are most of his friends. But he's unable to immediately fall asleep as his mind is still racing after the fast pace of his restaurant shift.
Mental health and substance abuse often plague those in the restaurant world. Those eating in restaurants often forget that there is a person behind each meal that comes out of the kitchen. When that person inevitably makes a mistake, it can become exaggerated, especially when its shared with a lot of people on social media. These criticisms can have a negative effect on the mental health of those working in a restaurant. And when it's combined with working late hours and dealing with a harsher work environment, it affects their mental health even more.
To cope, restaurant workers often self-medicate. Substance abuse is extremely common in the restaurant world because partying is already a large part of their culture. There's easy access to alcohol and if the workers are looking for a place to unwind together after a shift, bars are the common option.
Self-medicating only gets them so far though. Eventually, many of those struggling with mental health and substance abuse problems turn to suicide as their ultimate solution. In 2016, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention listed chefs and food service workers as one of the top 20 professions with the highest suicide rates."
If you have thoughts of suicide call 1-800-273-8255 to speak to a suicide prevention counselor. Services are free, 24/7. Please visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org for more information.
If you need immediate one-on-one counseling, text HOME to 741741 to speak to a counselor. Services are free, 24/7. Note, although services are free this is not for long-term treatment. Please visit crisistextline.org for more information.
ThriveNYC was launched in November 2015 by The First Lady of NYC, Chirlane McCray. ThriveNYC aims to provide a mental health system that works for everyone by integrating a public health approach that focuses on awareness and early identification. Soon the Mayor's office will also unveil NYC Care, a program that will make mental health services available to all New Yorkers based on a sliding scale. ThiveNYC also provides certifications in Mental Health First Aid. Please visit thrivenyc.cityofnewyork.us for more information.
If you live in the NYC area you can call, text, or online chat NYC Well to speak to a mental health counselor. Services are free, 24/7. They also assist in helping schedule appointments with other mental health services, and even follow up to check to see if you have connected to care and if it is working for you. It is a great, free counseling program offered in 200 languages to residents of NYC. Please visit nycwell.cityofnewyork.us/en for more information.
NYC chapter "improves the quality of life for people who have mental illness, and for their families, through support, education & advocacy". Please visit naminycmetro.org for more information involving support groups, classes, and public events surrounding mental health.
Information on a variety of health topics. Please visit www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/index.page to learn more.
Self-Management And Recovery Training is an international non-profit that provides information and support to individuals struggling with addictions. The NYC chapter offers free support groups. Please visit smartrecoverynyc.org for more information.
NEDA is an American non-profit that provides information to individuals dealing with eating disorders, referrals to treatment, and the education and understanding of eating disorders, weight, and body image. They provide free support groups. Please visit nationaleatingdisorders.org for more information.
A branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Provides tons of information directed towards treatment, support, and referrals. Please visit samhsa.gov for more information.
Psychology Today is an online publication that provides articles surrounding health and wellness. They also help individuals find a therapist and (sometimes free) support groups in your area. Please visit psychologytoday.com/us for more information.
The journey of recovery can travel many roads. The important thing to remember is that there are many resources that can work with busy schedules. Some flexible online resources are BetterHelp.com and Talkspace.com. Some individuals just need to be around others. Meetup.com and NYC Events provide information on local activites. Some individuals just want to help those that are less fortunate. New York Cares is a local non-profit that connects New Yorkers with volunteer activities in the area.
Use this tool as a starting point before speaking to a mental health professional. You can take the online screening at MentalHealthScreening.org
Remember to use these tools for educational purposes and not to replace counseling services. Please visit HealthyPlace.com
Remember to take our mental health survey by clicking here. All answers will remain anonymous and data collected will help us set up accurate services.