WAITT: World Suicide Prevention Day
Biking for Hope: Touring the EuroVelo 5
By Amanda Rozmer
Bret and Luke, two life-long friends, have partnered with Hope for the Day to establish a meaningful way to bring their penchant for storytelling and adventure alive with a powerful message: proactive suicide prevention and mental health awareness. They are both adventurous souls who have spent the last several years involved in backpacking trips, runs, bike rides, mountain summits, et cetera; both solo and together.
On this particular trip, they will be embarking together to tell the story of their travels through photos, videos, and check-ins to bring awareness to the importance of mental health. Through their explorations, they aim to promote the concept of exercise and a connection with your natural surroundings as a way to improve your mental health.
Over the next several weeks, we will be detailing their journey as they take a bike trip along the EuroVelo 5 route from South England to Milan, Italy. Keep checking in on our blog to see where the route takes them!
Hope Travels: A Worldwide View of Mental Health with Nancy Bartosz
By Amanda Rozmer
The issue of suicide is worldwide, and globally over 800,000 die by suicide each year. The US still has a long way to go in how we approach the conversation, but in several other countries, the topic is even more stigmatized.
Nancy Bartosz, a career educator, is working closely with Hope for the Day to use her year-long sabbatical for good. Bartosz is embarking on an exploration of several nations within Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Here is where we will be continually detailing her journey as she explores the dynamics and intersections of mental health across continents, while sparking up community spaces that foster talks meant to provide perspective and sustainable mental health education through proactive prevention, much like what HFTD has established with Sip of Hope right here in Chicago.
Currently, Nancy is beginning her journey in Ghana. Her schedule is stacked with events, connecting with several organizations in the area from Global Mamas Fair Trade, the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, and PsychAidLove to name a few. She will be helping host events, creating murals, providing mental health overview training, and spreading the overall word that It’s OK Not To Be Okay. Keep checking up on our blog to read about Nancy’s first leg of this incredible trip for proactive suicide prevention!
Sarah Moss Connects Mental and Physical Health On Team Thrive
By Sydni Budelier
Since last year, Sarah Moss has been carrying Hope For The Day’s message of proactive suicide prevention to the finish line. As an accomplished long distance runner, running coach, and member of HFTD’s Team Thrive, she uses her active lifestyle to connect physical and mental health by sharing her own personal victories on and off the race course and encouraging her community to talk about mental health.
With several races coming up, including the Des Moines, Iowa Marathon on October 21st, she has once again stepped into what she deems her own form of therapy: training. During the training period for her first race in 2005, she fell in love with running immediately, explaining, “It was almost like a nonjudgmental community that accepted you whether you ran a 5 minute mile or 12 minute mile—we were all out there doing the same thing and encouraging others to be the best they can.” And that is exactly what Hope For The Day and Team Thrive is all about: to make people see that no matter what they’re going through, we are in this together and we all have access to resources that can help us be our best selves.
Outside of competing in her own races Sarah will be utilizing her platform in the running community to attend the Chicago Marathon on October 7th and cheer on her friends and fellow running mates. While she won’t be competing in the race herself, she will be remembering the late Dan Harris who inspired Team Thrive and participating in Hope For The Day and Team Thrive outreach during the event; raising the visibility of mental health resources along the course and bringing the positive energy.
To learn more about Sarah Moss and Team Thrive read the full story on Sept. 24th!
Food For Thought: Logan Square’s Sip of Hope Starts Mental Health Conversation Over Coffee On the Today Show
By Amanda Rozmer
Just this past week, Hope for the Day’s pioneer project Sip of Hope was a feature on the Today Show’s Food For Thought segment with Megan Kelly and NBC’s Kerry Sanders. Jonny Boucher, HFTD’s founder spoke candidly with Sanders about why he began Hope for the Day, and why Sip of Hope is such an integral part of the day to day in Chicago.
We aim to provide those around our community and beyond with the tools to speak about mental illness and to enact a proactive form of suicide prevention. The daily conversations held at Sip of Hope between baristas, patrons, and HFTD staff are not meant to take on a clinical format, but to be a sounding board that lets people know that someone is there to listen. Starting the conversation is the hardest part, and knowing that someone is a trained ear, ready to listen, can be a bigger comfort that anyone realizes.
As barista Lee Benzaquin mentions in the segment, Sip of Hope is equipped with Mental Health Crisis trained baristas as well as pamphlets and resources pertaining to outreach and prevention. HFTD also provides a monthly free Mental Health Education training to anyone in the community. This training helps prepare someone for how to appropriately and considerately spark a conversation about mental health with someone you feel may be in need of advice or even just a shoulder to lean on.
Mental illness is a struggle present in many of our lives, and sometimes we are unaware that it is happening to someone we know. That’s why it’s important to get the conversation going and always check in with our friends, family, and community members, because we are in this together and suicide is a preventable crisis if we reach out and start talking.
Watch the NBC Feature here.
IT'S OK NOT TO BE OK
If you or someone you know needs help, reach out;
Crisis Text Line
TEXT “ITSOK” TO 741741 (Available 24/7)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255(TALK) - Press 1 for Veterans Line
The Trevor Project LGBT Lifeline
866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386) (Available 24/7)