Why Giving Kitchen Is Providing QPR Suicide Prevention Certification to Restaurants Across the Country

a message from Giving Kitchen


Crisis brain is real. While chronic depression and other mental illnesses can trigger suicidal ideation, a desperate situation can also send people into a mental space where suicide is suddenly on the table. The team at Giving Kitchen spends a lot of time working with food service workers in crisis and it’s not uncommon for someone from our programs team to hear from a client, “If I don’t get help, I’m going to kill myself.”

While we care for people in need everyday, it became clear we didn’t have the crisis resources needed to help food service workers expressing suicidal thoughts. To prepare our teammates to serve our community better, Giving Kitchen’s full staff participated in QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention Training. 

QPR, the CPR of suicide prevention training, is a simple, one-hour course that prepares you to support a friend, family member or teammate who is contemplating suicide. The training was immediately impactful. It made us better at our jobs and more assured that, if the phone rang and someone needed help, we were ready. 

We at Giving Kitchen did our QPR prevention training in May 2018, thinking we were just covering our bases with a training we would use infrequently - a just-in-case resource for our staff if the phones ever rang.

One month later, the phones rang. And they didn’t stop ringing. 

The morning of June 8, the world lost Anthony Bourdain, and all day, all week, people called. Owners, managers, dishwashers, servers, chefs - all heartbroken. Some folks simply needed someone to talk with; others were in urgent need of counseling.  

The decision we’d made weeks before to take part in QPR training enabled Giving Kitchen to be a stabilizing force in our community for hundreds of food service workers. Which is to say, on June 8, 2018, QPR became a permanent tool in the Giving Kitchen tool kit.


One year later at the James Beard Foundation awards, we delivered this message: “Giving Kitchen will be a national organization one day, but do not wait on us - make your kitchen a Giving Kitchen today, and let us help.” 

We unveiled a suite of national self-care resources for food service establishments with the centerpiece being an online QPR training, which we’re offering for free to any food service worker in the United States. If QPR enabled Giving Kitchen’s team to serve food service workers contemplating suicide, what would happen if we trained a staff member at every restaurant in the country?

This certification takes less than an hour to complete online, and what would normally cost $30 a person is being provided for free through GK’s Stability Network program. Since announcing this resource in early May 2019, we’ve made great progress with over 350 food service workers registering for the training and over 150 who have completed the certification. As a result, Giving Kitchen has already received encouraging messages from industry workers who have recognized warning signs and referred their teammates to suicide prevention resources.

We’re grateful to be able to provide the services needed most in our community and hope you’ll spread the word about our national Stability Network resources far and wide.

If you are a food service employee or know a food service employee interested in suicide prevention certification, please consider taking QPR training today.