HFTD is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization founded in 2011 by Jonathan Boucher, who grew up just north of Chicago and got involved in the music industry at the age of 13 by putting on punk metal shows and creating community spaces where people felt they could belong.
In 2010, Jonny’s boss and mentor, music festival promoter Mike Scanland, completed suicide. He was the 9th person Jonny personally knew to have completed. Mike’s passing was a final-straw moment and compelled Jonny to take action. Hope For The Day was created as a way to honor not only Mike, but all the friends and family members Jonny knew who had died by suicide.
The organization began as a modest idea, printing out flyers with national suicide lifelines and other resources to distribute them within the music venues around Chicago that Jonny was familiar with as a manager and promoter.
Then, Jonny started getting onstage to say a few words, encouraging others to reach out for help. He noticed something kept happening: the more he spoke out, the more people would come forward to speak up, because he had pierced the silence surrounding mental health and suicide. He recognized that once the silence was broken, others felt empowered to communicate their own challenges.
We have come to understand that suicide arises when someone perceives there are no resources available to end their suffering. Arriving at the point of suicidal crisis can stem from many different paths, all of which share a difficulty to communicate and address the psychological impact an experience is causing in someone’s daily life.
Recognizing this, Jonny rapidly formed a diverse coalition of suicide survivors, lived experience peer supporters, clinicians and advocates, who shared his pressing sense of urgency to create tangible action on suicide prevention.