Texas nonprofit Southern Smoke expands no-cost hospitality worker mental-health program

The program is now offering its no-cost counseling services to food and beverage workers in 10 states.

Behind You is now offering its no-cost counseling services to hospitality workers in 10 states. - Pexels / Alex Green
Pexels / Alex Green
Behind You is now offering its no-cost counseling services to hospitality workers in 10 states.
Houston-based nonprofit Southern Smoke has expanded its free mental-health program for hospitality workers into six additional states.

The program, called Behind You, is now available to food and beverage workers in Maine, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington D.C. via new partnerships with 13 university clinical programs in those states. The expansion means the assistance program is available in a total of 10 states, including Texas.

Southern Smoke distributes grants to accredited universities offering graduate-level programs for psychology, social work, clinical mental health or counseling. These allow for food and beverage workers to receive free counseling through supervised student clinicians.

So far, Texas' University of Houston and University of North Texas are the foundation's sole university affiliate partners. San Antonians looking for counseling resources would use these programs, but the nonprofit's website notes that the University of Houston's program is currently on a waitlist. The status of UNT's program is not shared on the Behind You site.

Since its inception in 2017, Southern Smoke's foundation has provided more than $11.6 million in emergency relief grants to hospitality workers experiencing financial hardship.

For now, Alamo City hospitality workers can sign up to receive a referral for counseling services when they again become available, or they can apply to be awarded some of the Foundation’s general funds.

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Nina Rangel

Nina Rangel uses nearly 20 years of experience in the foodservice industry to tell the stories of movers and shakers in the food scene in San Antonio. As the Food + Nightlife Editor for the San Antonio Current, she showcases her passion for the Alamo City’s culinary community by promoting local flavors, uncovering...

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