The Southern Smoke Foundation, a Houston, Texas-based non-profit, has announced a new initiative to provide free mental health services to anyone in the food and beverage industry — and their children — in Texas. This program was inspired in part by the 2018 suicide of Anthony Bourdain, and is being conducted in partnership with Mental Health America of Greater Houston and the University of Houston Department of Psychology.
"We must be better to one another in the work place and provide a safe environment." - Kathryn Lott, executive director of Southern Smoke
A 2017 study showed that the food and drink industry was among the worst in the United States when it came to employee mental health. To make matters worse, few employers in this industry offer health insurance, and many are closed altogether due to the pandemic.
Southern Smoke will pair hospitality employees or their children throughout Texas with PhD clinical psychology students at the University of Houston for telemedicine appointments, with the ultimate goal of creating a customized, long-term mental health plan, completely free of charge.
For more information about the program, read the full article here.