Suicidal thoughts as well as mental illness can affect anyone regardless of race, age, gender or background. In fact, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), suicide not only takes the lives approximately 40 thousand Americans yearly, but also stands as the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S.
With these staggeringly high statistics still continuing to rise in 2017, it is clear that suicide prevention is a vital topic that must be discussed. Thankfully, many campaigns around the U.S. are rising up and speaking out for this cause, aiming to normalize the topic of mental health and smash the negative stigma that has kept it from being being openly discussed for so long.
One such group, which has made an especially significant impact through their campaigns, public speaking and interviews with various public figures this past year, is the Chicago-based suicide prevention and mental health campaign known as Hope For The Day.
According to their website, Hope For The Day “Achieves proactive prevention by providing outreach and education through self-expression platforms.” This means that Hope For The Day’s campaign is centered primarily around creating a preventative environment, rather than a reactive one– offering support and guidance to those who need it by addressing the importance of their mental health before they reach a point of crisis.
In 2017, Hope For The Day attended various Warped Tour dates across the U.S., using the annual music festival as a platform to help further spread their message of hope to the public. At Warped Tour, the Hope For The Day campaign had done a phenomenal job connecting with and reaching out to concert-goers by handing out pamphlets, implementing short PSA’s before performances and even creating dialogue between bandmates such as Dan Lambton and Kyle Fasel of Real Friends and Ben Barlow of Neck Deep, about the importance of their cause.
Furthermore, in light of September being national suicide prevention month, Hope For The Day has recently begun their Chicago concert series in an attempt to further both discussion and education about mental health and suicide. According to an article published on the Hope For The Day webpage, “While it may seem like mental health is discussed a lot within our music scene, as a whole, people are still reluctant to talk about it, which actively harms those who struggle with mental health.”
Through this campaign concert series, the organization has committed to attending concerts at the Evolution Music in Downers Grove, IL as a creative method of community outreach against suicide prevention. The first concert, which took place on Sept. 3 featured a lineup consisting of Everyone Says, Three Years, Rare Candy, Stratford, and Little Crown. Additionally, the campaign had provided education materials during the concert including PSA’s and the opportunity to sign up for Mental Health First Aid training. Hope For The Day had also continued to visit and set up their tent at other concerts in the Chicagoland area including the John Mayer concert in Tinley Park which took place on Sept. 2 and the Depeche Mode show by Live Nation on Aug. 30.
Most recently, Hope For The Day has paired with the bi-monthly rock and heavy metal focused magazine, Revolver, to organize an auction, for which all proceeds will be donated to the Hope For The Day Proactive Prevention Program. The auction, which was initially announced on Sept. 7 via Hope For The Day’s Twitter page, includes various items including guitars, prints, vinyls, clothing items and other merchandise which patrons may bid on until the sell-off comes to a close on Sept. 10 at 10p.m. EST.
To learn more about Hope For The Day or to contribute to their cause, check out their webpage here: