Chicago Hip-Hop Artist Using Coffee Shop To Promote Access and Awareness To Mental Health Resources


May 14, 2021

One cup a day takes the pain away.

A Chicago hip-hop artist is using his coffee shop to help promote mental health awareness, ABC 7 Chicago reports.

Christopher LeMark is the owner of Coffee, Hip-Hop & Mental Health, an organization he started in 2019 with the mission of normalizing therapy in the local community and across the country. According to their site, the organization would travel across Chicago, “working with licensed therapists and mental health specialists to provide safe spaces and sustainable programs to further the mental health conversation,” often inside coffee shops. In November 2020, LeMark opened his concept shop, helping to fund mental health services through coffee sales.


“Normalize Therapy University” hosts weekly discussions around mental health and is currently looking to raise $25,000 to cover daily operations. LeMark uses the money from the sale of coffee to assist with the mission while also operating a food pantry to combat food insecurity in the community.

LeMark was inspired to launch due to his struggles with mental health, experiencing a physical and psychological breakdown in 2018 that changed his life. He credits his recovery to hip-hop and therapy.

“We’re using our funds here to pay for people to go to therapy,” LeMark said.


LeMark bridges the gap between the community and therapists, the shop covering the cost of members’ first five therapy sessions. So far, local partnerships and the community have sustained his business. He hopes that people will continue to donate to expand operations and that the community will continue to normalize and advocate for mental health, starting with themselves.

“I want them to know that hope is real, all you have to do is hold onto that little bit of hope, and your life can change,” LeMark said.

To learn more about the mission of Coffee, Hip-Hop & Mental Health, click here.


Thank you for all of your work, Christopher! Because of you, we can.

Photo Courtesy of ABC 7 Chicago

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