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1 in 5
Americans live with a mental illness.
of full-time food service and hospitality employees suffer from substance abuse disorders.
of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness.
increase in the rate of suicide from 1999 to 2016 in the United States.

The Project

“Ours is an industry with a problem we don’t like to talk about, but we can’t keep shying away from the hard conversations. I Got Your Back is peer-to-peer support that helps us watch for signs of distress and gives us a safe place to talk about our personal struggles.”

– Bobbin Mulvaney, owner of the Mulvaney’s B&L in Sacramento, California

I Got Your Back isn’t an organization. It’s a promise.

It’s a promise to work together to support our peers and reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health and related issues. Grief inspired the IGYB program after a sudden rash of suicides and overdoses in the restaurant industry hit Sacramento hard in late 2018 and early 2019. IGYB is converting grief and sadness into courage and optimism and we hope to see it spread from restaurant to restaurant, city to city and industry to industry.

By making resources readily available someone in crisis can get immediate help. While someone who is just in the weeds and struggling, can find the right fit to work toward a healthier lifestyle or sober living.

I Got Your Back teaches employees to be aware & self-aware for warning signs of distress. And to help create a safe environment of acceptance to talk about personal crisis where we can provide access to resources for those struggling and help lay out a plan to get started.

The pilot project was named “I Got Your Back.”

Pilot program participating restaurants: Binchoyaki, Scott’s Seafood, Selland’s East Sac, Selland’s Broadway, Selland’s El Dorado, Ella Dining Room and Bar, OBO’ Italian Table & Bar, The Kitchen, Randy Peters Catering, Waterboy, Rio City Café, Hook & LadderMulvaney’s B&L

Recognizing immense impact potential, Sacramento’s four major health care systems, along with the region’s NBA team – Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, UC Davis Medical Center, and the Sacramento Kings – have come together to provide both mental health resources and project funding. Other partners include Innovation Learning Network, WellSpace Health, The Steinberg Institute and the James Beard Foundation.

Our Purpose

I Got Your Back is a statement that says although it’s ok not to be ok, it’s also not okay to shrug off the warning signs.


By educating our selves and each other about Mental Health, we can keep the conversation about mental wellness for front in our business culture while being aware of signs of distress with Mental Challenges and Illness. To help us to create acceptance and a safe environment to talk about personal crisis and provides access to resources for those struggling.

“Restaurant work can be fast-paced, stressful and nocturnal. It requires thick skin and talent, not a college degree. It’s an industry where facial tattoos and criminal records don’t prohibit career advancement, and shifts that begin at 2 p.m. leave plenty of time to sleep off last night’s hangover.”

– Patrick Mulvaney, owner of the Mulvaney’s B&L in Sacramento, California

The facts matter:

Nearly 17 percent of full-time food service and hospitality employees suffer from substance abuse disorders, more than any other employment sector, according to a 2015 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration study.

The food and hospitality industry has the highest rate of employees with substance use disorder of any industry. (1)

The greater Sacramento region employs 100,000+ people in leisure & hospitality and added thousands of jobs to this sector in the last year. (3)

A 2016 survey of more than 2,000 restaurant workers from a national nonprofit called Chefs with Issues found that 73 percent reported suffering from multiple mental health conditions.

Food and beverage service is considered the unhealthiest industry for employees. (2)

2015 study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that food service employees had the highest rates of illicit drug use compared to 18 other occupations.

Sacramento County’s suicide rate is significantly higher compared to the rate statewide. (4)

Mental and behavioral health is a pressing need in Sacramento communities, so much so that it was the top priority identified in both Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health Community Needs Assessments conducted in 2016. (5)

“The startling suicide of Anthony Bourdain and others here in my hometown of Sacramento brought home for me how inadequate mental health services are for those in my industry.”

– Patrick Mulvaney, owner of the Mulvaney’s B&L in Sacramento, California


The Pantry

Resources for those in crisis.

Learn More

Recipe Book

A roadmap to the IGYB program.

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Call us, fund us, join us.

Get Involved

If you or someone you know is in crisis Call 988, press 1 for veteran, press 2 for Spanish.

Visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline Website

The Latest News

Through educating ourselves in all departments equally, practicing verbal & nonverbal communication and listening, using the arts, both visual and contemporary dance theater to offer alternative ways to understanding helping to create a safe & sane work environment.

Latest News
August 30, 2023

Bobbin Shares Her Story

A talk by Bobbin that shares her story and the "why" behind IGYB. Watch the full talk HERE.
Latest News
August 30, 2023

It’s Okay to Talk About Addiction

Danny and his family’s brave move to simply tell the truth has helped in dispelling the stigma and shame that are unjustly associated with mental illness and addiction. Kathy’s addiction does not define her life – but it ended it. It stole her sparkle and left those who loved her…
Latest News
August 9, 2023

Reimagining Restaurants: Hospitality, Health, and Hope

The restaurant industry is changing for the better, not only for the benefit of workers struggling with mental health and financial woes but all of us who buy food and experience dining. In this discussion, leaders from the food, beverage and hospitality space discuss initiatives and opportunities for growth and…


IGYB is a pilot program to address issues associated with mental illness and addiction across Sacramento-area kitchens, but we believe we’re designing a model for the nation that can help any industry in any city.

Use the contact form below to “make a reservation” if you’re a restaurant that wants to learn more about how participate in the IGYB training program, if you’d like to make a financial contribution or if you want to lend a hand some other way. We’d gladly put your contributions to good use.