Chicago mental health advocate makes impact on 'Jennifer Hudson Show'
CHICAGO - This month, as Mental Health Awareness takes center stage, Christopher LeMark, the founder of Coffee, Hip Hop, and Mental Health located on West Belmont in Lakeview, received a huge surprise during his appearance on the Jennifer Hudson Show.
LeMark's personal journey, enduring 12 years of abuse in foster care, battling three suicide attempts, and feeling hopeless, led him to break down in a coffee shop one day and seek therapy. From that transformative experience, his unique business was born.
Coffee, Hip Hop, and Mental Health is not your average coffee shop. On their menu, customers can name their price for most drinks, and there's an option to donate private therapy sessions for individuals in need.
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Since opening its permanent location in August 2022, the establishment has been a hub for free group therapy sessions for both men and women, as well as offering yoga and other wellness activities.
As a for-profit business, Coffee, Hip Hop, and Mental Health utilizes coffee and apparel sales to support their non-profit work, providing free one-on-one therapy to individuals who sign up.
The Jennifer Hudson show teamed up with Better Help to give LeMark $25,000.
Beginning June 1st, new therapy applications can be submitted through their website. The goal is to help 250 people with at least 10 therapy sessions, ensuring they receive the support they need.
LeMark's mission and the work of Coffee, Hip Hop, and Mental Health continue to make a significant impact, demonstrating the power of personal experiences and community-driven initiatives in promoting mental well-being.