Health Care and Nonprofits

Partners producing speaker series on mental health

January 30, 2018
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Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan back
A look at the back of the Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan in northeast Grand Rapids, which has been serving families of children, ages 21 and younger, receiving medical or mental health treatment since 1990. Courtesy RMHWM

A local lunchtime speaker series on mental health is kicking off next month.

The Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan is partnering with the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan’s “be nice.” campaign to create the series — Keep Families Close. Be Nice. — to raise understanding and awareness of mental illness.

Sessions will be held on the second Tuesday of each month from February to May at the Ronald McDonald House in Grand Rapids, at 1323 Cedar St. NE.

The free sessions will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a light lunch will be provided.

“The stigma surrounding mental health is often due to a lack of education,” said Marcie Lewis, president and CEO, RMHWM. “The goal of this series is to address that need, advocate for those dealing with mental illness and start breaking down the barriers to seeking treatment.”

Feb. 13: “Noticing behavioral changes in loved ones”

Christy Buck, executive director, Mental Health Foundation
Introduced by Terri DeBoer, WOOD TV’s morning and noon meteorologist

March 13: “Inviting yourself and others to have a conversation”

Kristin Mecklenburg, director of clinical services, Forest View Hospital 
Introduced by Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan

April 10: “Challenging the stigma” 

Eric Hipple, former Detroit Lions quarterback and author of “Real Men Do Cry”
Introduced by Bob Nykamp, VP and COO, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services

May 8: “Building resiliency”

Dr. Sandy Dettman, Kent County Medical Society
Introduced by WGVU host Shelley Irwin

Ronald McDonald House

Since 1990, the Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan has been serving families of children ages 21 and younger who are receiving medical or mental health treatment.

The house has 17 bedrooms with private baths, a communal kitchen, dining room, living room, laundry room and free transportation for the guests.

Mental Health Foundation

The mission of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan is to create communities that have good mental health by inspiring people to recognize, understand, accept and take action.

This is done through mental health programs and awareness campaigns and events. 

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