KENT COUNTY, Mich. — The Kent County Sheriff's Office is raising money for a local organization that supports those whose loved ones have taken their own life as part of Suicide Prevention Month.
Throughout the month of September, the department will be selling custom suicide prevention patches. Each year, the sheriff's office staff selects a few new causes to draw awareness to and sells patches to raise money for that cause.
Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young said her department deals with about 10 to 15 calls a week where deputies respond to someone who may be at risk. She said her staff often discuss the best way to help those in need or experiencing a crisis.
"There's ways that we can all impact how this is affecting our community and binding together and collaborating with other individuals that provide resources. It's really, really important," she said. "So it's something that we talk amongst our staff with. It's something we see in our community, and it's something we can have an impact on."
The proceeds from the fundraiser will go to West Michigan Survivors of Suicide Loss (WMSOSL) and the Kent County Sheriff's Office Benevolent Fund.
WMSOSL is a nonprofit that provides support groups for those struggling after the loss of a loved one to suicide.
"We want the community to know that we care, and that we're here as partners to help individuals who are struggling with these thoughts," LaJoye-Young said.
Patches are being sold for $10 each. They can be purchased at the department's Main Office at 701 Ball Ave NE, North Sector Office at 4191 17 Mile Rd NE and South Sector Office at 8557 Kalamazoo Ave SE.
If you or someone you know are experiencing a mental health crisis, help is available. You can call the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 24/7.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.