Non-Profit Serving Those Serving Expands Access to Mental Health Resources to the Service Industry with New Relief Fund

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In the Weeds Foundation Delivers Immediate Help to Industry Staff, Regardless of Employment Status

Serving Those Serving

"We feel it is critical and even more important during COVID-19 to continue offering Serving Those Serving’s EAP services to our employees and to make sure they have the resources they need in order to get help." - Luke Derheim, Creative Visionary at Craft & Crew Hospitality

Serving Those Serving (STS), a non-profit dedicated to the service industry, has announced the launch of a new relief fund to expand the availability of mental health resources to the hospitality workforce in response to COVID-19. As the service industry braces for continuing uncertainty, the new In the Weeds Foundation (ITWF) will grant immediate mental wellness resources to service industry applicants whose employers do not offer such benefits, who are displaced from employment, or are entering or exiting rehabilitation and/or incarceration. The goal of the fund is to increase access to wellness during an especially challenging time and reintroduce mentally healthy employees back into the workforce.

Through public funds and private donations, $10 will allow STS to sponsor short term, solution-based mental wellness services through their Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which has typically been only available through employers. Each grantee will have access to no-cost, high quality, bilingual, licensed professionals to forge a path towards wellness goals, including mental illness, alcohol/chemical dependency, work related stress, immigration and legal resources, amongst other issues. This program is a first-step response towards increasing access to wellness for the grantee, their domestic partners, and dependents.

“COVID-19 and social unrest have devastated the service industry -- not only resulting in lost jobs, unpredictable working conditions, and fluctuating wages, but also an increase in anxiety, depression, workplace stress, and alcohol and substance abuse,” said Sarah Norton, STS Founder and Executive Director. “The In the Weeds Foundation aims to address these issues by expanding Serving Those Serving’s quality access to public and private mental and workplace wellness resources, which are more critical now than ever, to the broader service industry community. As the only independent provider of EAP services to the service industry nationwide, we’re dissolving the stigma and barriers around addressing mental health by providing much needed resources to an underserved workforce.”

STS is the only independent (non-union) organization providing in-house solutions to small restaurants and restaurant groups while also providing education, training, and continued leadership support. The organization has already saved lives and proven to be a valuable asset to both workers and restaurant owners. Even throughout the pandemic, STS retained 88 percent of its clients during COVID-19, including restaurants like Smack Shack, Black Sheep Pizza and Sweeney’s, and surpassed pre-COVID numbers by 25 percent. STS has nearly tripled the national average utilization rate of EAP services (~4.5% (Natl avg) ->~12% (STS) and has tripled the average utilization of males.

“At Craft & Crew, we’re 100 percent committed to the health and safety of our employees,” said Luke Derheim, Creative Visionary at Craft & Crew Hospitality. “That’s why we feel it is critical and even more important during COVID-19 to continue offering Serving Those Serving’s EAP services to our employees and to make sure they have the resources they need in order to get help.”

Applications are now being accepted for sponsorship from ITWF. For more information about Serving Those Serving and the In the Weeds Foundation, visit

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Sarah Norton

Adam Borgen
Serving Those Serving
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