For many restaurant workers, kitchen culture makes it impossible to recognize the pain, but new services open the dialogue for seeking help

When he was at his most desperate, Jakob Anderson was working himself so hard he couldn’t even think. Every morning and night, the young aspiring chef undertook the almost 90-minute commute from his home in the suburbs of Whitby, Ontario, to the fashionable Italy restaurant in downtown Toronto, where he worked for 12 hours a day.

In the evening, clocking out and heading home at last, he would board his commuter train, chug an extra large cup of boiling-hot coffee, and immediately pass out.

Related: Is being a chef bad for your mental health?

You get to hide from the world, and hide from yourself, by burying yourself in your work for 12 hours a day

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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