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    Karen Murphy
    Karen Murphy

    Introduction

    karen.jpgHello Chefs .

    I am Karen Murphy one of the Unichef Directors and an ex chef.  I’m a qualified addictions therapist and a counsellor, experienced in residential rehab settings and community counselling.  My passion is supporting chefs and their circle of family / co -workers/ employers, accept , understand, and work through any substance misuse and dependency issues they may be experiencing.

    Substance use is commonplace in the industry and for many it never becomes a problem, but for others it can escalate into dependency often resulting in loss of career, break up of relationships and family, friendships, and financial debt . Parallel to these are problems with physical and mental health, and this is systemic. Not only does it affect the mental health of the substance user but also others close to them, all the way  to the morale of the entire kitchen brigade and FOH team.

    There are many reasons that people misuse substances, but it all comes down to one common denominator, that they want to feel different to what they are feeling at the time. Chefs are a passionate lot so it’s no coincidence that the incidence of substance misuse and addiction his higher than many other professions. There are a lot of factors that come into play, the kitchen culture and pressure to perform, the unsocial hours, unreasonable and controlling head chefs and managers, perfectionism, bullying, heat stress and sometimes dangerous working conditions.

    The aim of this page is to help all of those affected. we will do this by offering insight and information regarding what you can do to maintain your own and your colleague’s mental health, We are not here to judge, but to offer support and empathy, and my aim is to provide information, options and referrals should someone decide to ask for help in addressing  a substance use issue, and resources for those who suspect that a kitchen colleague needs help and would like to support them.

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    Great intro Karen,congratulaions and best of luck.

     

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    Fantastic intro, this is something i have been extremely excited about and cant wait to learn more. I currently take prescribed medicine, extremely strong opiates and last week i was incredibly ill, compounded by the fact i was in withdrawal from prescribed opiates. This feeling whilst battling depression and not being able to keep any medicine down, was an eye opener for me. I so look forward to reading more, thank you.

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    Thanks for the feedback Kieran ,sorry to hear you had a rough week and hope you feel better soon ,.. Depression is a tough gig on its own without the issues of other illness on top.!  Good point though re prescribed painkillers , they are often down-played in the danger scale  as they have been prescribed and legal ,.but for many can cause dependancy and for some can become the gateway drug to street drugs when the prescription runs out ,.. I will address this in a future article ,. 

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