Sister Lakes Brewing Company joins movement prioritizing mental health

SISTER LAKES — May is Mental Health Month and a local brewery will be crafting beer for the cause.

Starting Saturday, Sister Lakes Brewing Company, 92500 County Road 690, Dowagiac, will be brewing a collaborative beer “Things We Don’t Say” IPA: Craft Beer for Mental Health to raise mental health awareness and to help end the stigma associated with mental illness.

The project was created as a collaboration between Milwaukee-based craft breweries Eagle Park Brewing and Malteurop Malting Co, Hollingbery & Son Hop Co. of Yakima, Washington, and Hope for the Day, a nonprofit movement empowering the conversation on proactive suicide prevention and mental health education.

The beer’s release is in conjunction with Hope for the Day’s Shake the Stigma awareness campaign for Mental Health Month 2021. The campaign aims to help shift how mental health is approached by encouraging people to talk about their experiences and feelings, both good and bad, and to demonstrate the importance of asking for help when needed.

Sister Lakes Brewing Company is joining more than 167 breweries in seven countries around the world in support of the movement.

“To me, mental health is an issue that affects everyone,” said Brian Morin, co-owner of Sister Lakes Brewing Company. “We thought, why not use our space to start that conversation? Throughout history, people have come to pubs to gather and speak. A lot of people in our industry and community are hurting. It’s our responsibility to bring awareness.”

The IPA is based on a 6-percent IPA recipe from Eagle Park Brewing that has been shared with participating breweries. Proceeds from the sale of the IPA will be donated to Hope for the Day.

“It’s a hazy IPA,” Morin said. “It’s pretty standard but it has really cool hops in it.”

Established in 1949, Mental Health Month was founded to put a spotlight on the importance of mental health and wellness.

Bringing awareness to mental health is something that Tim Smith, executive director of Woodlands Behavioral Health Network, 960 M-60 East, Cassopolis, strives for every day.

“The stigma is something that our industry has been trying to break through for years and years,” he said. “In recent years, people have been less embarrassed to seek mental health support.”

According to a U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey conducted in January, roughly 40 percent of adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder during the pandemic. A Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll from July 2020 also found that many adults are reporting specific negative impacts on their mental health, including difficulty sleeping (36 percent) or eating (32 percent), increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12 percent) and worsening chronic conditions (12 percent) due to stress induced by the pandemic.

“I think people are a little more anxious during this time,” Smith said. “Substance use is a more prevalent due to our overall isolation from each other.”

The Woodlands Behavioral Network hotline is available 24 hours a day at (269) 445-2451 for anyone experiencing a psychiatric crisis.

“We really want people to be aware that we are here,” Smith said. “There’s no timeline on where you are going to feel certain things. We will help in the most appropriate way that we can.”

Cass County

Niles community helps toddler fight leukemia

Cass County

MEC announces 2021 scholarship winners

Berrien County

Click It or Ticket campaign runs through June 6

Berrien County

After 2020 cancellations, southwest Michigan communities look forward to traditional Memorial Day festivities

Business

PHOTO STORY: Inaugural spring market draws visitors, vendors from surrounding areas

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 876,854 cases, 18,627 deaths

Berrien County

Berrien County asks for public input with emergency management survey

Cass County

Man involved in 2020 murder of Dowagiac man pleads guilty

News

PHOTO STORY: Niles Renaissance Faire sees success in its third year

Cassopolis

Cass County Medical Care Facility hosts parade

Berrien County

Buchanan man sentenced to jail time for drug possession

Dowagiac

Kalamazoo man injured in Wayne Township motorcycle crash

Berrien County

UWSM CEO chosen for United Way worldwide task force

Cassopolis

Teen killed in Ontwa Township shooting confirmed to be Cassopolis student

News

Niles Police Log: May 5-12

Cass County

New pavilion project breaks ground in Russom Park

Breaking News

Police investigating fatal shooting of 15-year-old girl

Cass County

New look: Dowagiac District Library welcomes guests with grand opening ceremony

Dowagiac

SMC graduating 87 with honors

Cass County

Dowagiac resident sentenced for tampering with monitoring device, fleeing police

Dowagiac

Dowagiac city manager discusses area development

News

Resident connected with unpublished manuscript handwritten by her mother

Business

Niles business wins 2021 distinction, given green light to build kitchen

Cass County

Homeless man gets jail for attempting to steal vehicle