So often when we talk about our health and wellness we focus on our physical bodies. We talk about things like diet and exercise. In this episode, we’re focusing on a different aspect of wellness: our mental health. Joining Ellie for this conversation is Christy Buck, Executive Director of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan.
Christy defines mental health as how we think, how we act, and how we feel. More simply put, it’s how we live, laugh, and love.
Christy provides startling statistics about suicide. She provides ways to recognize if someone might be in danger, and talks about the ripple effect mental illness and suicide can have on a family and a community. She also provides examples of “protective factors” that can help someone experiencing a difficult time pull through.
An amazing and actionable takeaway from this episode is the Mental Health Foundation’s be nice. campaign, which is being rolled out in schools and businesses throughout Michigan (and beyond). Click the link below to learn more, and join Ellie in taking the pledge to do your part to be nice. everyday. As Christy said, you never know when doing so might save a life.
- N – Notice what’s right and what’s good
- I – Invite yourself to start a conversation
- C – Challenge the stigma
- E – Empower yourself and others
In this episode:
- Meet Christy Buck (2:22)
- Defining mental health (4:14)
- The stigma (9:14)
- About the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan (12:50)
- The be nice. Action Plan (18:20)
- be nice. in Schools (28:00)
- be nice. Metrics and Goals (31:22)
- The Ripple Effect (37:40)
- be nice. in Business (41:03)
- Resources outside of Michigan (44:26)
- How to Help (47:38)
- Bonus Questions (54:45)
Notable & Quotable:
Mental illness is the 10th leading cause of death among adults and the 2nd leading cause of death among 10 to 24 year olds. —Christy Buck #successfulgenerations #mentalhealth
It’s a myth that if I talk about suicide I will put the idea in someone’s head. It’s the opposite—talking about it shows that you care. —Christy Buck #successfulgenerations #mentalhealth
Mental health is how you THINK, how you ACT and how you FEEL. In other words, it’s how you LIVE, LAUGH and LOVE. —Christy Buck #successfulgenerations #mentalhealth
When you notice someone not carrying out their daily activities or not engaging in satisfying relationships, these are clues that someone is dealing with a mental illness. —Christy Buck #successfulgenerations #mentalhealth
When we notice something, we have to ask the tough question, ‘Are you thinking of suicide?’ —Christy Buck #successfulgenerations #mentalhealth
Be nice everyday. You never know when you’re going to save a life. —Christy Buck #successfulgenerations #mentalhealth
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Christy Buck is the Executive Director of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. With 30 years experience in the mental health field, Buck’s passion for transforming and saving lives through mental health education led her to develop two classroom programs, ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ for middle and high school students, and ‘be nice.’ Since 2006, she and her staff have passionately presented to over 100,000 people in West Michigan on mental health awareness, bullying and suicide prevention. Christy regularly delivers speaking engagements to community and business groups on mental health awareness. She is certified in Mental Health First Aid and has been recognized as one of the top 100 in the country.
Buck serves on the Grandville School Board and is involved with numerous community organizations and coalitions. Buck was honored with 2012 Grandville’s Distinguished Person of the Year Award , the Peacemaker Award from the Dispute Resolution Center of West Michigan in 2014, 2017 Hometown Hero from the American Red Cross, 2017 Athena Finalist, 2017 Art Van Charity of Hope Award, and most recently 2018 50 Most Influential Women In West Michigan. She is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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