Welcome to Darkest Before Dawn. We are a fledgling non-profit, based in Chicago, with one simple yet urgent goal: to provide support, community and resources to our city's service industry and live enterainment workers, who's late hours and isolated commutes leave them susceptible to depression, anxiety and suicide. Recent data points to a high rate of evening and third-shift employee suicides in our country, especially in the very industries built to provide excitement, leisure and happiness to everyone else. They are the ones heading home in the early morning hours, when businesses are closed, the streets are empty, and it truly is the darkest period of time before the dawn.

Chicago has lost too many well-loved and highly-respected members of this community to suicide and depression, and we feel that there is a lack of mental health assets, social support and benefits for this particular group. As we build this community, we will soon offer:

  • A telephone hotline, staffed by crisis counsel-certified peers in the latest of hours
  • Online chat rooms, posting walls and message board
  • A curated list of medical and mental health resources
  • A testimonial and rememberance page to share stories, art and photos of those we have lost, or those who need support
  • Finally, a return to proper service industry appreciation events and fundraisers

If you'd like more information or are interested in becoming a volunteer, please send us an email at info@db4d.org. In the coming months we will build this site into a peer-supported forum for those in need of a voice, a sounding board, a friend, an advisor or a confidant. All of us either have worked or are working in the service or entertainment-support industries. We know the frustrations, pitfalls and isolation of the job, the scarcity of medical or mental health benefits, and the need for help in those dark moments when you are exhausted, frustrated or alone. We want to celebrate the people who work so hard to make our nightlife possible, and to give them something back in return. More to come!

For Jamie, Bob, and April.


Are you a service industry or live music venue employee?

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National Suicide Prevention Hotline
Crisis Text Line