How does being a chef affect your mental health?

The Staff Canteen

Over the weekend The Guardian posted a piece about how the pressures of being a chef can take its toll on mental health.

According to the news site, a survey conducted earlier this year from the country’s leading union site, Unite, shows that almost half of professional chefs in London worked between 48 to 60 hours a week with more than a quarter of chefs surveyed drinking to make it through a shift and a staggering 56% were using painkillers. Further stats also showed 78% had had an accident or near miss caused by fatigue and 51% said they had been depressed through overworking.

In the press release from Unite London, Unite regional officer, Dave Turnbull said: “Our survey paints a devastating picture of life for chefs in professional kitchens with one chef saying that his 14 hour days with no breaks led him to being diagnosed with depression and anxiety.”

Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at the mental health charity Mind said, “We do know that if someone experiences extended periods of stress in the work place that can lead to anxiety and depression,” according to The Guardian.

The article also expressed how despite the charity having some success surrounding the stigma of mental health in the work place, the hospitality trade was one industry slower to address the topic.

Restaurant critic and feature writer for the Observer, Jay Rayner, shared the piece on his Twitter profile which generated numerous comments and debate from the restaurant industry.

Heidi Hewitt argued it wasn’t just chefs that were suffering from the long hours and small pay expressing how different areas of the trade were also being effected.

What do you make of these statistics? Has being a chef effected your mental health in some way? Please let us know in the comment section below or share your thoughts via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 27th November 2017

How does being a chef affect your mental health?