Last night we attended the Pause for the Cause charity dinner supporting Vibrant Emotional Health. At this now twice yearly event, coordinated by Rebecca Kolko Friedlander, winos and somms and chefs, from across Chicago, all come together to support the national suicide prevention hotline at 988.
Vibrant Emotional Health is a leader in suicide prevention and the administrator of The 988 Lifeline. Since the easy-to-remember number launched in 2022, the Lifeline received nearly 5 million calls, texts, and chats from people reaching out for support. This is a 2 million increase over the previous year!
- Of the 5 million contacts in the past year, more than 700,000 were routed to the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL).
- We also shortened the wait time to 41 seconds—down from more than 2 minutes and 39 seconds.
These numbers are more than just statistics; they embody the resilience and determination of countless individuals on their journey toward emotional healing.
Together, we are advancing access, dignity, and respect for all.
To me, each of these encounters is most importantly an opportunity to help a person in need, to give them hope and a sense of worth. This work is so important. Over the years (starting in 2018) our hospitality community has come together to support the hotline's work and raised several hundred thousand dollars.
Tonight we gathered at Obelix in collaboration with El Che in the kitchen and Somms from many Chicago's top restaurants for a festive meal featuring many wonderful shared wines.