Service Industry Workers

We support our service industry workers.
Most of our clinicians at Forward Wellness have a background in restaurant / service work or are still actively a part of the industry. We understand first hand the impact mental health has on these workers.
We are working to build a fund to offer therapy to people who work in the service industry at little to no cost. Our decision to start this project stems from both professional research and personal experiences. We understand the difficulties that this population faces accessing mental health services and the very high incidences of substance-abuse and mental health challenges in this population.

Service Industry employees are already overwhelmed and stressed by daily life, many of whom are just barely getting by, often working multiple jobs or multiple long shifts and schedules that can be socially isolating. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), those working in hospitality and food services have the highest rates of substance abuse disorders – at approximately 17 out of every 100 full-time employees. Nearly 20 percent of full-time industry employees are involved in illicit drug use and heavy alcohol use is a prominent issue affecting roughly 12 percent of employees.

In an ongoing survey that has been created by the partnership of The Heirloom Foundation and Chefs With Issues that seeks input from restaurant employees who work in the kitchen. The following results are from 1,600 participants, 84.2% suffer from depression, 73.2% suffer from anxiety and 49.9% deal with substance abuse issues. Additionally, 75.5% use alcohol to cope with the fallout from this, while others turn to drugs, compulsive eating, sex or overspending as coping mechanisms. These issues are only confounded by the stigma around mental health. About 57% of the participants said they felt they couldn’t say anything to their co-workers. This leaves many to seek solace in unhealthy coping mechanisms.

These mental health and substance abuse issues are only confounded by the lack of health insurance among restaurant employees. This issue becomes even more vital with the current shutdown of many restaurants and bars, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although service industry employees may not be dealing with the stress of work, they are now plagued with uncertainty of their jobs returning and financial concerns due to being laid-off.


If we are talking directly to you, as a service worker, please reach out today for support!
If you are interested in supporting this cause, please contact Jodie today ( to learn about funding avenues!

510 Third Avenue, Fifth Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

6507 Wilkins Ave, #108
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 660-6100

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