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Meet a mom determined to help teens, parents, and teachers open up about mental illness

kids walking in a school hallway
Mercedes Mejia
/
Michigan Radio
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year olds.

Fewer teens  are dying from accidents and disease, but teen deaths from suicide continue to rise.

The Michigan chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is offering two programs to high schools for students, teachers and parents in an effort to address this issue.

Alison Paine is a state trainer with NAMI-Michigan. She's also an assistant professor at Lansing Community College.

Like many parents, Paine got involved with NAMI because her own son, at the age of 13, became suicidal. "It's a rude awakening for any parent," she said.

Listen to the full interview to hear about the free presentations offered to schools. "Ending The Silence" is a mental health program for teens and "Parents and Teachers As Allies" is aimed at helping adults recognize warning signs and know what to do to get help.

At this year's NAMI Michigan Conference, which runs May 18 and 19, presenters will showcase the two programs. 

(If you or someone you know is considering suicide, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You can find more Michigan resources for mental health crises listed by county here.) 

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