Downriver Mental Health Clinic Helps Bartenders, Service Industry Workers

Lincoln Park-based mental health and substance abuse clinic Community Care Services has created a hospitality program to cater to service industry workers who may have lost their job or are nervous about returning to work during COVID-19.

Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer dealt a blow to bars just a few weeks into reopening by issuing an executive order that forced many to close their indoor service in metro Detroit.

It’s yet another hit for the service industry during the coronavirus pandemic, leading to a loss of income and community for workers. 

“You have to convey a smile through a mask and with distancing.” — Melody Baetens, Detroit News restaurant critic

Now, Community Care Services is focusing on the mental health issues anyone in the service industry may be facing after losing their job — or facing the prospect of returning to work even if they don’t feel it’s safe yet to return.

Click on the player above to hear how one metro Detroit clinic is offering support for service workers.

Detroit News restaurant critic and reporter Melody Baetens says a return to work with strict new guidelines can cause anxiety in the service industry, too.

“In addition to having to put on that face, be present and do the emotional labor, you have to convey a smile through a mask and with distancing,” says Baetens. “Another stressor will be how will tips go. If the restaurant is only allowing 50 percent of its people in and they’re spaced out and you don’t visit the table as much or interact with the guests as much, are the tips going to be there?”

“One thing that we’ve seen in this global pandemic is that when you lose your job, you’re losing your sense of community.” — Justin Coates, Community Care Services

The Lincoln Park mental health and substance abuse facility has created a hospitality program specifically for the service industry affected by the issues created by the coronavirus.

“One thing that we’ve seen in this global pandemic is that when you lose your job, you’re losing your sense of community,” says Justin Coates, a therapist and manager of the hospitality program for Community Care Services. “You’re looking at a life changing event for a lot of people that has the capacity to exacerbate underlying mental health issues.”

Because the hospitality program is available to anyone in Wayne County, bartenders and others in the service industry — often left without a source of health insurance — have access to help. 

 “If you’ve got commercial insurance or Medicaid, we can assist you with that,” says Coates. “And even if you don’t, we will still be there to talk with you and connect you with any resources that we can.”

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date

WDET is here to keep you informed on essential information, news and resources related to COVID-19.

This is a stressful, insecure time for many. So it’s more important than ever for you, our listeners and readers, who are able to donate to keep supporting WDET’s mission. Please make a gift today.

Donate today »