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Coffee Sleeve Campaign looks to spread messages of hope during Suicide Prevention Week

When you grab your next cup of hot coffee from your favorite coffee shop, you might notice a message on the coffee sleeve.

Messages like “You matter. No matter what” and “Treat yourself with gentle kindness” are printed on the sleeves along with the Crisis text HOPE LINE.

The messages were thought up by students in the Laona and Crandon School Districts.

The Coffee Sleeve Campaign was a joint project with the Northwoods COPE Coalition and community partners.

“These messages of hope are just positive messages for anybody to hear, but it also provides that resources through the HOPE LINE,” said Adam Nowak, Project Aware Mental Health Coordinator for the Lakeland Area Consortium School Districts.

He said COPE did something similar a few years back with coasters at local bars.

“We wanted to be even more universal and effect a bigger population by getting these resources available to anybody,” said Nowak. “We thought an avenue to explore would be the coffee shops because adolescents they’re beginning to utilize coffee and it can go all the way up to elderly individuals. Just a bit more of a universal approach using these coffee sleeves this time.”

Nowak says having a national resource like HOPE LINE is important, especially in rural areas like the Northwoods where local mental health resources can be limited or inaccessible for some people.

The suicide rate among Wisconsin residents increased by 40% between 2000 and 2017 and suicide rates during that time period were higher in rural counties than urban or suburban ones.

With the added stress of the pandemic in the last year and a half, Nowak says access to help is more important than ever.

“Promotion in general of mental health concerns, I think it’s one of those topics that is being discussed more between families, between friends, between providers and their patients. That is how we can make sure we avoid suicide is making sure this information is available and ready for people that need to access that,” he said.

The Crisis Text HOPE Line number is 741-741.

You can call the Tri-County Crisis Number at 1-888-299-1188.

The National Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)

The following coffee shops are participating:

Forest County: Jameson's Whiskey Darlin and Tricia's Treasures

Oneida County: A'la Mode Ice Cream and Coffee shop, Bath & Body Creations, The Briar House, Café Sonder, Crimson Cup, Deja Brew Coffee & More, Northern Grounds, The Reve, Tilly's, and Tricia's Treasures

Vilas: The Daily Grind, Eagle Roasters, Jaime's Java, Little Creek Coffee, Milky Way, and Red Canoe

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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