We at L&L Consulting are saddened by the recent death of top Chef Benoit Violier from the famous Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville. Chef Violier's suicide has once again drawn attention to the working conditions and lack of mental health supports available for chefs, and all those working in kitchens and restaurants.
We know that the workplace, in this case, the kitchen/restaurant, can impact individual mental health both positively and negatively.
- A workplace provides an opportunity to feel productive
- Builds routine and stability
- Opportunity to develop relationships and feel social connectedness
- Financial stability
- Opportunity to develop skills
- Enjoyment of work
- Increased stress of job demands
- Lack of control of work tasks, scheduling, colleagues, etc
- Increased physical demands from working long hours with limited breaks (if any)
- Negative experiences with colleagues
- Hierarchical kitchen culture with inflexible chain of command
- Small, cramped workspaces that take a physical toll on workers
We need to balance these impacts on both individual and organizational levels.
What can individuals/employees do?
- Take the breaks you are allotted and don't waste them - they will make you feel better!
- During your breaks, engage in healthy activities and change your environment. This may include going outside, stretching, walking, reading, doing a crossword puzzle, getting your mind and body out of work for a few minutes
- Ensure you have a good work-life balance. Plan your days around your work schedule to ensure you can take care of life outside of work
- Build your resiliency skills
- Advocate for supports you need in your workplace
What can kitchens/restaurants/employers do?
Get to know the needs of your employees - talk to us about an on-site mental health risk assessment
- Ensure the physical safety of your employees - conduct an ergonomics assessment for all workers and ensure equipment and workstations are appropriate
- Encourage employees to take breaks!
- Educate your employees on mental health and self-care
- Foster a supportive corporate culture to ensure employees are comfortable asking for help
- Provide resources for employees to seek support ex: EAP, counselling services, etc.
All workplaces can benefit from these tips! Contact us today to find out how L&L Consulting can help your workplace to better support employee mental health. Let's continue to prevent further suicides in the workplace. What are you doing in your workplace to support mental health? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Read more about Chef Violier's story here:
Photo credit: www.laweekly.com