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Coalition plans mental health fair
The Hillsdale Daily News - 1/16/2020
Jan. 16--HILLSDALE -- The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Hillsdale County partners with those who bring hope to others who have experienced suicide and help for those who are contemplating suicide.
As part of this mission, the coalition is planning "Islands of Wellness," a family-friendly mental health fair event from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.Feb. 29 at the Hillsdale ISD Building (lower level), 310. W. Bacon St., Hillsdale.
Co-director Lori Nichols, who spoke to the Hillsdale Kiwanis Club recently, said Islands of Wellness is based on the movie "Inside Out," helping people talk about their feelings and understand their emotions.
"Islands of Wellness is designed to help families learn how to manage stress and take care of their family's mental health," Nichols said. "Each family will also be given the opportunity to write a family mission statement to take home with them."
Challenges will be offered at each island and participants will earn a stamp in a passport. Each island teaches on the the eight dimensions of wellness developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. These include emotional, physical, environmental, intellectual, financial, occupational, spiritual and social.
Resource Reef features community resources and Serenity Point features stressless activities such as pet therapy and massage therapy.
The theme of the event was inspired by the film "Inside Out," featuring the characters Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. Upon completion of all eight islands, families will receive a gift and be entered for door prizes.
Nichols said the coalition is asking for support of this event from various levels of sponsorships. Sponsor names will be placed on all materials that publicize the event, as well as announced verbally at the event itself.
"We are also accepting contributions of door prizes and monetary contributions of any amount," she said. "All proceeds from this event will be used to further the work of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Hillsdale County and all the money will stay locally in Hillsdale County."
"During the event, characters will revolve around the islands, promoting mental health," Nichols said. "I will have a table for the spiritual part, which is recognized as something man needs to nurture and grow."
In her presentation, Nichols said this is the fifth year for the coalition and because of rising statistics, ministers wanted to get involved in the cause.
"The Suicide Prevention Coalition is faith-based," she said, noting members meet monthly to discuss ways "to bring hope and health to Hillsdale County."
Nichols said suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24 and 90 percent of those who commit suicide have a mental health disorder.
"Many of these disorders are treatable," Nichols said. "Suicide prevention is everybody's business -- our business is to care about people."
In addition to signs and triggers, Nichols talked about what people can do for those who are at risk. She said everyone has mental health to consider, and there are ways to understand it more fully. The mental health fair will help families manage and learn more on the topic. Admission is free and there will the food, bounce houses and prizes, Nichols said.
For more information about "Islands of Wellness," contact Nichols at 517-4371138 or Ruth Brown at 517-398-0116. Sponsorship forms are due by Jan. 31.
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