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Live, Laugh, Love | Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness

Did you know?

  • Suicide in Kent County is the second leading cause of death in children ages 15 to 24.
  • 3–5 percent of teenage girls have a diagnosable eating disorder
  • 1 in 100 children is diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia and 59 percent of adults diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia reported suffering their first symptoms during childhood or adolescence.

The Cascade Community Foundation and the Tassell-Wisner-Bottrall Family Foundation is proud to announce a partnership with the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan, bringing their mental health awareness and suicide prevention program, “Live, Laugh, Love” to Forest Hills Public Schools.

Early childhood years are the most important time to prevent mental health disorders and promote healthy behavior. Some kids experience strong feelings of stress, confusion, self-doubt, and pressure to succeed at home and at school. Some kids feel left out and are targeted and bullied, or are the bullies themselves. They may develop depression and contemplate suicide or turn to harmful substances and engage in other types of risk-taking behaviors as the solution to their problems. While childhood suicide is very uncommon, death from suicide continues to increase and is the second leading cause of death among high school students in Kent County.

The Mental Health Foundation has created a ground-breaking secondary school curriculum that includes a variety of interactive lessons that help students, parents, and teachers recognize the symptoms of depression and the warning signs of suicide in themselves, a friend or family member. This educational program also encourages students to set aside stereotypes and give fellow classmates understanding, compassion and acceptance. The educational curriculum is also designed to help young people who may be personally affected by mental illness to get past the stigma and seek treatment.

Thank you Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan for helping our kids have the best life they possibly can and making Cascade and the Greater Forest Hills Area an exceptional community with neighbors who are connected and care!