News and Events

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) The topic of bullying is one that has dominated national conversation for years. An effort that started in West Michigan to combat bullying is the “Be Nice” campaign.

Christy Buck and her team from the Mental Health Foundation just returned from a school district in Ohio. They were invited by the school after an incident that grabbed national headlines. Ten-year-old Jetta Fosberg was bullied after she cut 14 inches off her hair to donate to Wigs for Kids, in honor of her grandparents. The bullying got so bad, she had to be pulled out of school. Eventually, the school reached out to the Be Nice team to bring the program to its students.

Buck says evidence shows the Be Nice program is working to change the culture in schools and prevent bullying. To learn more, visit the Be Nice website.

The Be Nice team will be at the Kids and Family Expo at DeVos Place on Saturday, January 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be activities, a zip line, music, food, education, and crafts. Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for kids ages 3-15.

Click here for the full story. 


Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan 25th Anniversary Gala Celebration Presented by the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation 


5.16.2015 -

Stomp Out Stigma

Join this amazing annual fundraiser beginning at the Grand Valley Downtown Pew Campus! 

Click here to register today! 

“You may not see the sun, but it has not failed to shine. It is just being covered. You may not see a hope for something better, but there is.”
“You are more than your worries.”
“Keep your heads held high and your attitudes higher.”
These are just a few recent encouraging tweets from @zeelandbenice, a group at Zeeland High School on a mission to spread love and support for their peers.

Grand Rapids area clinician, Jim Bottenhorn, discusses the possible causes behind the recent string of youth violence in the local area.

We are one of the 8 finalists for the Connecting with Community Award!

We want to say a big "THANK YOU!" to the Kent County Medical Society Alliance for choosing the MHF!

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MHF Blog

A Great First Week

September 1, 2013

It was a busy first week spreading the 'be nice." message!

Get Mentally Fit Moment - be nice.

May 2, 2013

Christy explains the relationship between be nice. and mental health

be nice.

be nice.

is a positive anti-bullying initiative designed to spread awareness surrounding the issues of bullying and the importance of treating people with civility community-wide.



Myth vs. Fact


Troubled youth just need more discipline.


Almost 20% of youths in juvenile justice facilities have a serious emotional disturbance and most have a diagnosable mental disorder.

US Department of Justice


Teenagers don't suffer from "real" mental illnesses–they are just moody.


One in five teens has some type of mental health problem in a given year. Ten million children and adolescents suffer from a diagnosable psychiatric disorder.


People who abuse drugs aren't sick, they're just weak.


Over 66% of young people with a substance use disorder have a co-occurring mental health problem which complicates treatment.

Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health


Eating disorders only affect celebrities and models.


3–5% of teenage girls and 4–10% of boys have a diagnosable eating disorder. Anorexia affects 2.5 million Americans and has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.


Children are too young to get depressed, it must be something else.


More than two million children suffer from depression in the United States and more than half of them go untreated.

US Center for Mental Health Services


We're good people. Mental illness doesn't happen in our family.


One in four families is affected by a mental health problem.

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill


Childhood mental health problems are the result of poor parenting.


If someone in your family has a mental illness, then you may have a greater chance of developing the illness. Mental illness generally has little or nothing to do with parenting.


Talk about suicide is an idle threat that need not be taken seriously.


Suicide is the third leading cause of death among high school students and the second leading among college students. Talk about suicide should always be taken seriously.