The COVID–19 pandemic is significantly impacting Americans’ mental health, and this is especially true for hourly workers, including those in coffee. Stay Grounded, a new initiative from nonprofit GoFundBean (GFB) and oat milk company Oatly is working to combat this. A June 2020 report from the CDC shows that “U.S. adults reported considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID–19,” including 30.9% reporting anxiety/depression symptoms and 26.3% reporting symptoms of a trauma- and stressor-related disorder (TSRD) related to the pandemic.
Service workers have historically had high rates of mental health issues. Between the pandemic, increased emotional labor for serving an anxious public, and social isolation, it is no surprise that more than half of essential workers (50.4%) reported at least one mental or behavioral symptom.
Stay Grounded will provide 16 hourly coffee workers with a three-month subscription to the virtual therapy platform Talkspace. The Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium plan includes unlimited texting and one live video session with a licensed therapist per month.
“We are super excited about this program over at GFB because we know how important mental health is generally, and it’s even more important now because of the pandemic and the way that the service model has changed,” says GFB founder Adam JacksonBey. He also mentioned that an upcoming campaign will hopefully expand the program with more slots.
Of the 16 spots available, 50% are reserved for Black, Indigenous, and POC Americans, 75% for those currently in a public-facing hourly coffee position, and 25% for those who recently lost their jobs.
Applications to Stay Grounded are open November 18–27 and available to any hourly coffee professional who has worked in coffee in the past 12 months. Recipients will be chosen via a lottery system. For more questions about the initiative, explore the FAQ page. For additional mental health resources, visit the Sprudge guide.
Jenn Chen is an Editor at Large at the Sprudge Media Network and sits on the board of GoFundBean. Read more Jenn Chen on Sprudge.