Introduction (3 min)

Primary Concerns is an excellent first step in taking a proactive approach to building a mental health toolkit.

By completing this short, self-led text and video-based course, you will be equipped with an understanding of the mental health and substance use challenges that we face everyday, as well as tools that you can put to use right away. 

What Primary Concerns is NOT: 
  • A list of treatment options or a recovery plan. 
  • An exhaustive list of all the tools and approaches--there are many others that are not mentioned here. 
  • Training in how to provide counseling. 

Instead, Primary Concerns will help you develop your mental health and substance use awareness and support skills. The course will help you learn how to actively listen and hold space for difficult conversations and emotions.

Think of it like this: if I broke my leg and you were in the room with me, you wouldn’t start doing surgery on my leg or cast me up. You’d call for help, then stay with me to provide moral support and comfort! Similarly, Primary Concerns offers support skills that you can start applying right away.

In Primary Concerns you WILL learn how to:
  • Identify when a person may be a danger to themselves or others.
  • Recognize the signs of mental health challenges and provide help to prevent or avoid crises.
  • Provide comfort to someone having challenges with their mental health and support them in recovery.
  • Guide a person toward appropriate professional help.
  • Improve one’s own mental health.
  • Support the creation of a psychologically safe workplace. 

Why did we create Primary Concerns? 

Because mental health and substance use conversations and support haven’t been readily available in the food and beverage industry. But we need to be having these conversations and mutually supporting one another.

  • In the US, the food and beverage service industry ranks in the top three worst workplaces for mental health, after manufacturing and retail. (Hellebuyck et al.)

  • The American restaurant industry is also the highest among nineteen industries for illicit drug use and third highest for heavy alcohol consumption. (Restaurant Workers and Addiction – Statistics, Recovery & Treatment Options)

  • By the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 have—or have had—a mental illness, making it the leading cause of disability in Canada. (Restaurant Workers and Addiction – Statistics, Recovery & Treatment Options)

As a result we have epidemic rates of mental health and substance use challenges in hospitality. The good news is that harm and suffering are preventable, and we want to help. 

Who are we? 

Not 9 to 5 is a non-profit organization empowering food and beverage industry workers. 

We do this by mobilizing education and support for mental health and substance use, promoting harm reduction practices, and helping you connect to mental wellness resources and to each other. 

We give a shit about mental health, substance use, food, drinks, and you! We’re industry veterans that are sick of losing friends and family, and we want to plant the seeds of change for the next generation.  

Not 9 to 5 created CNECTing to distribute educational courses and bring our community together. CNECT stands for Change Needs Everyone Coming Together. Primary Concerns is our first course offering under CNECTing.