The Mike & Sherry Project was created in 2019 with the mission to provide accessible mental health care to individuals working in the Austin restaurant and bar industry in partnership with Capital Area Counseling (CAC), a psychotherapy center providing affordable, accessible, high-quality mental health services to all Central Texans. CAC is offering low-cost tele-therapy services to members of the Austin bar and restaurant industry, regardless of employment status due dining room closures with help from the fundraising efforts of the Mike & Sherry Project. Pricing is determined by an income-based sliding scale with appointments as low as $15. Funds raised by the Project go towards helping bridge the gap if the bar and restaurant workers are unable to make the fee and to supporting CAC staff. To date, the Project has raised over $30,000 for accessible mental healthcare and seen over 1200 appointments.
The Project was started by Sam Hellman-Mass, restaurant industry veteran and owner of east Austin favorite Suerte. During his time in the industry, he saw his co-workers and staff go through personal hardship and saw a need for affordable and accessible mental healthcare.
He named the project after Mike Shefman and Sherry Greenberg, who are staples in the local food scene and have become an integral and invested part of the Austin community. He met the couple when he was working at Barley Swine and was instantly inspired by their kindness, good nature and sense of humor. Sherry is known to deliver brownies to the staff at restaurants around town, whether she’s dining or not. Sam noticed that everyone who got to know them quickly began to feel like part of their family.
El Dorado Cafe
Mike Shefman and Sherry Greenberg
Sam Hellman-MassOwner, Suerte
Jerry WebbermanJackson Walker LLP
Valerie GranoffLCSW, psychotherapist
Jaime TelfeyanCapital Area Counseling
Doc DavisCapital Area Counseling
Kathleen LucentePresident, Red Fan Communications
Matt LuckieFBR Management