National support group hopes to help those in the service industry

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The conversation surrounding mental health and wellness is growing among those in the hospitality industry.

"Hospitality workers traditionally have been an undeserved community. So far as substance abuse and people who have struggled," Food and Beverage Director, Megan Hanrahan said.

Hanrahan was one of the nearly two dozen people in attendance for Ben's Friends first Kansas City meeting. This is a national support group for service industry workers dealing with substance abuse and addiction.

"It's not AA, it’s not NA. But it’s a meeting that people can come and share their experience, strength and hope and be around other people who support them and understand the specific needs of people who work in hospitality," Hanrahan said.

The group was created four years ago and is named after Chef Ben Murray. Murray took his own life after struggling with alcoholism.

"Often times we’re making sure we’re taking care of them without really considering the welfare and the well-being of our on selves," Hanrahan said.

Ben's Friends will meet at the Rieger Sunday mornings at 11.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, we urge you to get help immediately.

Go to a hospital, call 911 or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

Click on the boxes below for our FOX 4 You Matter reports and other helpful phone numbers and resources.

CLICK THIS BOX FOR FOX 4 STORIES ON MENTAL HEALTH.CLICK THIS BOX FOR MORE MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES.

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