Logan Square’s ‘Best Coffee Shop’ Celebrates 1 Year of Hope

Jonny Boucher needs you to realize it’s OK to speak about psychological well being. And the founder of the distinctive, mission-driven Sip of Hope café (3039 W. Fullerton Ave.) invites you to do it over a warm mug of Dark Matter espresso.

This month, Sip of Hope and different advocacy teams have fun Psychological Well being Awareness Month—and the café also marks one yr in business. The shop’s marking the national marketing campaign with events by means of Might and into the summer time. In the meantime, Sip of Hope and its dad or mum group, Hope for the Day, will hold pushing their core mission of offering proactive suicide-prevention and mental health schooling to the group, Boucher advised LoqanSquarist on the café’s sun-drenched patio.

“Might, for us, is basically about difficult ourselves to verify in with each other, examine in with our family and friends,” he stated. “But in addition take it as a chance to get extra educated, get extra info on the subject material… Might being psychological well being month is superb, however it’s what we do with the opportunity.”

In the yr since Sip of Hope opened its doorways, the coffeehouse has shortly grow to be a neighborhood favourite. On Might 6, it earned “greatest coffee-shop” honors on this yr’s LoganSquarist Better of Logan Square awards. And the shop’s been busy. Since Might of 2018, Sip of Hope has served over 20,000 clients and distributed over 46,000 mental well being assets, Boucher stated.

“After a yr, there’s so much to be pleased with,” he stated.

The café not solely raises revenue for Hope for the Day’s ongoing mental-health schooling and other packages (100% of proceeds go to Hope for the Day), nevertheless it additionally serves as a dependable resource itself, Boucher stated. Yow will discover materials for mental health providers throughout Chicago at the café entrance. (Those embrace a Lifesavers Guide from the American Basis for Suicide Prevention, a Veterans crisis line playing cards, and Hope for the Day’s “It’s OK To not Be OK’ stickers and pins. Materials are available in English and Spanish.)

“We’re present. We’re here, we’re not hiding. And this isn’t just a one-time thing, or it’s a popup for a month after which we’re gone,” Boucher stated. “The doors are open proudly from 6 to 9, as a result of we know that folks not only want espresso always of day, however individuals need conversation. Individuals want a spot where they will work from. Individuals need locations they will rely upon.”

You’ll be able to reach the NAMI’s national suicide prevention hotline 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Reach NAMI-Chicago’s Helpline at 833-NAMI-CHI (833-626-4244) or by way of 311.

Preventing Stigma with Schooling

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Photograph by Tom Vlodek

” data-medium-file=”” data-large-file=”” src=”” alt=”” class=”wp-image-193440″/>Hope for the Day founder Jonny Boucher meets clients at Sip of Hope. Photograph: Tom Vlodek

Throughout the road from Sip of Hope, at the Logan Square Library department (3030 W Fullerton Ave.), Hope for the Day hosts its common mental-health schooling workshops. Referred to as PEERvention periods, these 4-hour peer-led gatherings train the “who, what, the place, when, why of psychological well being, “Boucher stated. (Take a look at the subsequent one, on June Eight at 12:30 p.m.)

Led by group members, including those with lived-experience in psychological health and Chicago Public Faculty academics, the workshops purpose to unfold information mental well being and remedy locally.

Schooling is vital to Sip of Hope’s mission of breaking the stigma of mental health and suicide prevention, Boucher stated. Every year, a psychological health condition affects 1 in 5 individuals in the U.S., and people individuals typically face stigma within the type of “rejection, bullying and even discrimination,” which may make reaching out and and getting help difficult, in line with NAMI, the Nationwide Alliance on Psychological Illness.

“I feel that for therefore many individuals mental well being is such a scary matter to speak about, particularly once we don’t know the best way to speak about it appropriately,” Boucher stated. “However we simply know that folks want to talk about mental health, they usually have to be educated, because that’s how you remove stigma. That’s the way you actually trump stigma, it’s superb, by educating individuals.”

That’s how you actually trump stigma … by educating individuals

Psychological well being and suicide in the U.S. have been referred to as a crisis, with 47,000 People dying by suicide and 70,000 from drug overdoses in 2017. However Sip of Hope goals to help get out in entrance of that disaster, Boucher stated. “That’s why our mission is to be proactive about suicide prevention and mental well being schooling,” he stated. “So we provide it free of charge to individuals all around the town.”

‘It’s OK’ Gallery, Hopeful Beer and More

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Photograph by Tom Vlodek

” data-medium-file=”” data-large-file=”” src=”” alt=”” class=”wp-image-193438″/>Artist Matt Hoffman’s “It’s OK To not Be OK” carving adorns Sip of Hope’s wall. Photograph: Tom Vlodek

Along with the continued schooling workshops, Sip of Hope and Hope for the Day have a full menu of events for Might and beyond. (Take a look at the whole lot happening here.) Earlier this month, the store launched a hope-themed “It’s OK” gallery with artist Matthew Hoffman at his You Are Lovely store (3368 N. Elston Ave.). Hoffman created the large carving of “It’s OK Not to Be OK,” a slogan or takeaway message of types for Hope for the Day, adorning the café’s lengthy brick wall. That gallery opened Might 19 and can run for a month.

On Might 13, the group additionally launched Hops for Hope beer with Previous Irving Brewing Co., “the world’s first beer supporting proactive suicide prevention and mental well being schooling.” Cans of the brew listing nationwide 24-hour hotline numbers for mental health and suicide prevention, in addition to Chicago’s 311. (You possibly can name 311 in Chicago and get related to the local crisis-prevention lifeline.) Go to Previous Irving Brewing’s faucet room to attempt the dry-hopped double IPA. (If you need Sip of Hope’s Darkish Matter bag, which similarly comes printed with psychological health assets, you possibly can decide that up at the café or at Entire Foods and different grocery stores, because of a partnership that dates again to 2013.)

On June 1, Sip of Hope will welcome any and all to the fourth annual Humboldt Mile, a 1-mile run, walk, jog “nevertheless you need to get it finished” at Humboldt Park, Boucher stated. And on July 6, the group once more pairs with its coffee companion for the Darkish Matter Block Social gathering. For both events, 100 % of proceeds benefit Hope for the Day’s packages.

The group has additionally expanded its schooling offerings, with popups in historically underserved areas like Chatham, Pullman and West Garfield Park, in addition to in Evanston and the suburbs. The organization has launched tasks just lately to deliver psychological well being consciousness to Chicago cops and those working within the food and drinks business. Hope for the Day additionally continues to do outreach at Stay Nation live shows at Northerly Island, Tinley Park and Aragon Ballroom, in addition to at Chicago Blackhawks video games.

“We’re additionally in this enterprise of adjusting the face of charity, right. We’re a young charity making an attempt to be round for a long time,” Boucher stated of these partnerships. “So we have now to create unique, sustainable partnerships, which is how we do this. Nevertheless it’s about doing it collectively.”

From Loss to a New Mission

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Photograph by Tom Vlodek

” data-medium-file=”” data-large-file=”” src=”” alt=”” class=”wp-image-193445″/>Another Sip of Hope message of help adorns the café. Photograph: Tom Vlodek

The Hope for the Day group grew out of Boucher’s private experiences with mental well being and suicide. Boucher, who used to work in concert promotion, has lost 16 friends and family members to suicide, and he needed to do assist individuals dealing with comparable struggles.

“I just know I can’t be the only one. But I’d fairly share my story as an alternative of disguise,” he stated. “And what we do at Hope for the Day is we empower individuals to embrace their insecurities, flip them into attributes, inform their story about how they fell down they usually obtained again up.”

When his pal and boss in the concert-promotion business Mike Scanland took his life in 2010, it amplified the expertise of dropping individuals he cared about to treatable psychological well being circumstances, Boucher stated.

What we do at Hope for the Day is we empower individuals to embrace their insecurities, flip them into attributes, inform their story about how they fell down they usually obtained back up.

“I simply realized that Mike was my Robin Williams. He was the man who we thought had every part. His nickname was the mayor of Previous Town,” Boucher stated. ” And sadly, you understand… we’re good actors.”

Launching Hope for the Day, to ensure more individuals know concerning the help and assets which are out there to them, Boucher stated, provides him a strategy to honor his family members’ reminiscences.

“I might have beloved to have been capable of assist Mike. Would have liked to have been capable of assist my aunt. Would have beloved to have been capable of help my uncle,” Boucher stated. “However that’s how I’m serving to them now—we’re serving to them now. By sharing their story.”

One other close pal of Boucher’s, Jay Michael, a real estate agent and supporter of artists in Uptown, spurred the creation of the Sip of Hope café. Michael, who handed away from cancer in 2016, had informed Boucher that Hope for the Day needed to create a social enterprise to offer a sustainable supply of funding.

“Mental well being is the lowest-funded illness. And we will’t wait for giant funding alternatives to unravel the issues,” Boucher stated. “We now have to create those funding alternatives with the group members that those opportunities are going to then serve.”

After Michael’s passing, Boucher started working on the Sip of Hope marketing strategy. “I sat down with my buddies at Dark Matter and stated, hey, can we do this? They usually stated yeah, let’s do it.”

Get Involved and Discover Help

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Photograph by Tom Vlodek

” data-medium-file=”” data-large-file=”” src=”” alt=”” class=”wp-image-193447″/>Find stickers, wrist bands, pins and a wealth of assets on the Sip of Hope entrance. Photograph: Tom Vlodek

If you wish to get more involved with Sip of Hope and Hope for the Day’s activities, think about volunteering at outreach events. Enroll right here, and the organization will contact you when volunteer alternatives arise.

Boucher additionally recommends that folks take benefit, once they need them, of psychological well being assets in Chicago.Those embrace NAMI-Chicago; the Banyan amenities for drug and alcohol remedy; and a wealth of other remedies, from yoga to music, listed on supplies out there at Sip of Hope.

For these in need, you possibly can attain the NAMI’s national suicide prevention hotline 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Find other hotline numbers right here. Reach NAMI-Chicago’s Helpline at 833-NAMI-CHI (833-626-4244), obtainable 9 a.m.-Eight p.m. M-F, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sa-Su. You may as well get referred to the Helpline by way of 311.

Featured photograph: Tom Vlodek