Many organizations around the United States are honoring Mental Health Awareness Month by holding new events and campaigns to increase mental health awareness and education. One of these organizations, Hope For The Day, is also taking this month to open Sip of Hope, the first coffee shop where 100% of the proceeds support preventative suicide prevention and mental health education. As I have mentioned before, I had the fantastic opportunity to intern with HFTD over the summer of 2016. They have always had a passion for bringing education and prevention to new communities, from schools to concerts. Today, they held the Grand Opening for their new coffee shop in Chicago.
In a collaboration with Dark Matter Coffee, Sip of Hope is now a community space for mental health conversations and, of course, delicious coffee. Hope For The Day has always encouraged conversations and states that, “the biggest obstacle in preventing suicide is silence.” Because of society’s stigmas, it can be difficult to talk about the struggles that we face; however, having these conversations is the first step in breaking down barriers and learning how to help each other through our challenges. We naturally tend to have conversations over a cup of coffee and Sip of Hope can now bridge the space in between these conversations and our mental health.
There is nothing easy about this endeavor and Hope For The Day took every step necessary to ensure that their coffee shop would be a safe environment for all of its visitors. Every barista at the shop is certified in Mental Health First Aid, a course that provides education about mental health and helps people identify and respond to people in crisis. This means that each person working in the coffee shop has the training to help those experiencing a mental health crisis and how to guide them towards support, which is a fantastic tool in creating a safe environment within Sip of Hope.
Hope For The Day is constantly moving forward and I am so proud of everyone at the nonprofit for everything they have accomplished so far. Sip of Hope has the power to change lives and will be a beacon of light for its community. If you would like to learn more about Sip of Hope, you can visit it’s site here. If you would like to see videos from this morning’s opening, you can watch them on Hope For The Day’s facebook.