Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan works to prevent suicide through education, art


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — September is National Suicide Prevention Month, a concentrated 30 days to focus on the second leading cause of death among Americans between 10 and 34.

Preventing suicide is what the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan has dedicated each day toward.

You can learn how to contribute to that mission through the Be Nice. book — “4 Simple Steps to Recognize Depression and Save Lives.” Co-authored by MHF Executive Director Christy Buck and Jeff Elhart of Elhart Automotive, the book educates people on the warning signs of depression and tools that could help save someone from suicide.

Buck provides her expertise throughout the book, having spent more than three decades working to prevent suicide. Elhart offers personal experience about the effects of suicide on those left behind. Elhart lost his brother, best friend and business partner Wayne to depression and suicide in 2015.

The book was released Sept. 1 to coincide with the month of awareness.

As the foundation turns the calendar to October, it is gearing up for its annual art show and auction, Shining Through…Feeling Good. The art show and auction puts the spotlight on local artists who are living with severe and persistent mental illness. Their artwork is up for auction and each piece sold has the proceeds divided, with 51% going to the artist and 49% to the foundation.

Shining Through…Feeling Good is Thursday, Oct. 21 at the Goei Center in Grand Rapids. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the artist auction, silent auction, Dutch auction items, along with other unique ways to win. Learn more about the event here.

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