Whether you're whipping up a quick omelette or pounding your own curry paste in a mortar and pestle, cooking can be a deeply rewarding experience. However, when those brief moments of cathartic release become your livelihood and turn into 14 to 16 hours every single day, it can quickly have a negative effect.
Mental health, or the lack thereof, and its connection with the hospitality industry has been long overlooked. Coho Collective houses almost every category of food business type. And being a food and beverage business ourselves, we can attest to the constant struggle of balancing entrepreneurship with mental well-being.
Earlier this month we had a chance to ask a few of our members and staff about their relationship with mental health throughout their careers in the hospitality industry. Their recommendations have ranged from prioritizing quality time with friends to an active change in mindset through podcasts or exercise. Based on their feedback, we’ve put together a few resources to help.
Mind the Bar
Mind the Bar is a free-to-join community-based organization in Vancouver, BC. They’ve operated on a 1:1 event system, staggering their events between ticketed fundraisers catered by the city’s premier chefs, which in turn raise funds to host free events for their members.
Created by, and for, hospitality professionals, they offer opportunities for hospitality workers to meet and connect, but also provide mental health hotlines and resources.
“Wellness Together Canada was created in response to an unprecedented rise in mental health and substance use concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with funding from the Government of Canada. As a country, we are facing challenges at a scale we’ve never seen before, from social isolation and financial insecurity to substance use concerns and racial inequality. “
They offer a range of services, from immediate text support for mental distress to a suite of resources around education and practice of mental well being.
Rhodes Counselling is an online counselling service offering sessions on a sliding scale, from $0 - $25 dollars per hour. Engaging in counselling services is never easy, but their intake process is ongoing, ensuring you are matched with a counsellor who is right for you and your needs.
For more information on their services, modalities and information on areas of expertise - click here.
The Burnt Chef Journals
“The Burnt Chef Journal Podcast is dedicated to challenging the perceptions of mental health through open conversation and inspirational stories. Fighting mental health stigma one guest at a time.”
Available anywhere you can listen to podcasts, Kris Hall discusses the ongoing mental health journeys with industry legends like Michel Roux Jr. and Jeremy Fox.
A Little More Good
A Little More Good is hosted by Zach and Dean, local business owners and founders of the prolific Juice Truck. They talk about all things wellness, mindfulness, sustainability and business with other Vancouver business owners, in addition to sharing how they balance this against their personal lives.
“Positive change happens when we commit to doing little things with intention, purpose and an openness to grow. Zach and Dean hope that these conversations inspire you to live well, and create a little more good in the world every day!” A recent survey from "Not 9-to-5" (a hospitality mental health advocacy group) showed a staggering ninety percent of hospitality workers said they struggle with mental health. Although there is no one way to manage your mental health, we hope you know you aren't alone.
By joining a community of other entrepreneurs and food service professionals, you’re able to not only rely on a network of shared resources, but connect with others who may be navigating the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and this industry.
(Chris Boreland, is the owner and founder of Elbo Patties - a company that was founded by prioritizing his mental health and identity.)
If you’d like more information on how to join our growing community, click below.