Conversations Cafe

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HFTD’s First Conversations Cafe Was A Success!

Hope For The Day’s Conversations Cafe commenced on November 1st with a successful first run at Sip of Hope Coffee Bar. The night brought HFTD and Sip of Hope staff, community members and leaders, as well as four panelists together to engage in a dialog about mental health in our community.

The event featured an educational segment by Pastor Bruce Ray of Kimball Avenue Church on the 2018 Public Mental Health Center Referendum to open a public mental health center to serve Logan Square, Avondale, and Hermosa. Educating the community on the importance of mental health and what it would mean to have accessible services in our neighborhoods is essential as we have the power to change public policy and ensure that individuals are provided with the proper resources to have a better quality of life.

The panel weighed in on the discussion and included guests from a diverse range of backgrounds who support mental health in our communities. Yorkville Alderman, Joel Frieders shared his journey from private citizen to elected official and how he instigated a movement to start a nationwide civic conversation on suicide. Executive Director of Unsilence, Annie Rezac introduced us to the unique storytelling tools Unsilence deploys to bring light to marginalized voices and experiences. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Chicago Chapter Associate Director, Jen McGowan informed us about the advocacy efforts and resources for suicide prevention and mental health available at NAMI-Chicago. Clinical Program Coordinator of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, Amy Smith illustrated YWCA Metropolitan Chicago’s efforts to take a community lead on numerous issues pertinent to mental health, including services for abuse and rape.

HFTD would like to thank all of you who attended and participated in the event. We applaud our audience who jumped in on the conversation and exemplified the spirit of our “We Are In This Together” mantra. Our discussion hopefully inspired many of you to stay proactive and follow through on aspirations to take action and become Agents of Impact in your communities.

If you missed it this time around, Conversations Cafe will continue monthly at Sip of Hope Coffee Bar and will feature education and open forum dialogue on the intersections of mental health within our communities. We hope you can join us next month!


Sydni Budelier