GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States. It's a time to raise awareness about mental health, to end stigma surrounding mental health issues, and to raise money for organizations that are working to save and improve the lives of people who are experiencing a mental health crisis.
"I just encourage people to take that month, get aware, become aware. But really, ultimately, take it through the whole year, because the impact that you could have on somebody's life is amazing," said Christy Buck who serves as the executive director of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan.
"Life has become more complicated, and now there are more people that are struggling. We need more psychiatrists. We need good counselors. And as we get further, that's what we're going to keep fighting for."
Buck says there are several events going on in West Michigan throughout the month that people can take part in to make a difference. We've listed some of them below.
- Friday, May 5 - The band Troll For Trout will be hosting a record release and benefit concert at Celebration Cinema Studio Park in downtown Grand Rapids. The proceeds from the event will benefit several mental health organizations.
- Sunday, May 7 - The Hope Network Foundation will host the Heroes for Hope 5K and community walk. The event will take place at 123 Ionia Avenue SW in downtown Grand Rapids.
- Saturday May 20 - The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan will be holding their 21st annual Stomp Out Stigma 5K Walk, which will start at the Grand Valley State University Seward Parking Lot in downtown Grand Rapids.
- The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan will also be hosting eight-hour mental health first aid courses at their location on 68th Street. These courses will help students identify people who are experiencing a mental health crisis, and take steps to help them.
- Celebration Cinema will donate 50 cents to mental health organizations for each large bucket of popcorn they sell this month.
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