With all the stress life brings, it’s important to support your mental health. Jennifer Hudson is putting the spotlight on an entrepreneur who is encouraging his community to seek therapy and helping those who may not have financial access to it.
On the May 16 episode of "The Jennifer Hudson Show," Jennifer spoke to Christopher LeMark of Chicago-based organization Coffee, Hip-Hop & Mental Health. Christopher grew up never knowing his birth parents and lived as a ward of the state. He experienced 12 years of abuse in the house he grew up in, with hip-hop music being one of his only forms of comfort.
He told Jennifer that in 2018, he had an emotional breakdown while having lunch in a coffee shop. “I started to cry in this coffee shop,” he said. “Nobody had ever taught me how to live. In that moment, I decided to take [myself] to therapy.”
“And it was in therapy I started to learn so much,” he continued. “The most important thing my therapist said was that it wasn’t my fault I was abused, I was just a kid.”
“I’m sure there’s so many Black people in my community that don’t have any access to therapy that need this type of support,” said Christopher. “So I’m going to create an organization where we can pay for people to go to therapy and provide mental health programs.”
Coffee, Hip-Hop & Mental Health has a physical coffee house in Chicago that serves coffee and pastries, but also provides lunchtime yoga sessions and group therapy, among other programs and events.
Christopher mentioned to JHud that the organization is trying to raise $100,000 to help fund therapy services for members and develop programs to offer the community.
Jennifer had a surprise in store for him — “The Jennifer Hudson Show” has partnered with BetterHelp to donate $25,000 to Coffee, Hip-Hop & Mental Health so Christopher can continue to support his community and promote the importance of self-care.
Learn more about Coffee, Hip-Hop & Mental Health by visiting chhamh.com.