Giving Kitchen, Georgia Restaurant Association and DBHDD Launch #86TheStigma Campaign

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Giving Kitchen, Georgia Restaurant Association and DBHDD Launch #86TheStigma Campaign


Atlanta, GA – January 12, 2024 – Giving Kitchen, Georgia Restaurant Association and Georgia's Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) proudly announce a groundbreaking partnership with the launch of the #86TheStigma campaign. This initiative is designed to raise awareness of the vital 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, providing support for individuals and their loved ones facing mental health and behavioral challenges.

The necessity for enhanced mental health resources is underscored by harrowing statistics, including a suicide occurring approximately every 11 minutes and nearly 2.6 million suicide attempts recorded in the U.S. in 2021. In Georgia, according to figures from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations accounted for at least 224 suicides from 2017-2021. An August 2023 CDC report found that people working in food preparation and service face a much higher risk of dying from drug overdoses compared to other professions, second only to construction workers. The rate of overdose deaths is worryingly high – about 130 deaths for every 100,000 workers.

The 988 Lifeline, accessible via call, text or online chat, serves as a universal, confidential resource offering immediate support and counsel to those in need. However, a recent statewide survey conducted by DBHDD found that only 16 percent of Georgians are aware of the critical 988 resources available.

Bryan Schroeder, executive director of Giving Kitchen, states, "The #86TheStigma campaign exemplifies the unity of our communities. In partnership with dedicated organizations and Georgia’s incredible restaurant community, we aim to shine a light on the often overlooked yet critical aspect of mental health, empowering individuals to seek support without hesitation or fear."

Be on the lookout for 988 material at your local restaurants and bars, or visit for more information. Individuals may request a 988 educator for a community meeting or event at’s “Request a 988 Speaker” form. 

If you'd like to get involved, you can sign up for the free program here. Full details on the program can be found here: or contact Sarah Thorson, GRA VP, Development to learn more.


DBHDD supports people with mental health needs, substance use disorders and intellectual and developmental disabilities. The agency is dedicated to ensuring easy access to high-quality care, fostering a life of recovery and independence for the individuals it serves.

About Giving Kitchen

Giving Kitchen is a nonprofit that provides emergency assistance to food service workers through financial aid and community resources. Recognized as a James Beard Humanitarian of the Year award winner and included in Fast Company’s 2022 Brands That Matter, GK has served over 16,000 workers and granted more than $11 million in assistance.

About Georgia Restaurant Association

The GRA advocates for Georgia's restaurants, offering a voice and resources for education and awareness. They strive to foster an environment where restaurants flourish and contribute to the cultural, social, and economic fabric of the state of Georgia.