Our community’s need for quality and accessible mental health services is greater than ever. According to the 2020 Kent County Community Health Needs Assessment, 1 in 4 adults have some form of diagnosed depression with the risk even higher for youth. With the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic just behind us and a long road still ahead, it is clear that addressing this issue is vital to our community recovery.
Arbor Circle — one of West Michigan’s most comprehensive providers of mental health counseling, substance use treatment and family services — knows these challenges well. As part of this year’s Spring Forward event, Arbor Circle is hosting a virtual conversation that speaks to the need for ongoing support for those struggling with mental health concerns. This digital dialogue, between event honoree Kris Mathis and featured speaker Cole Williams, will highlight the stigma around and barriers to seeking mental health support.
Kris Mathis, this year’s celebrated Spring Forward Honoree, is a renowned motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur who served on Arbor Circle’s board of directors from 2010-19. Cole Williams is the CEO of Cole Speaks and co-founder of The Delta Project, programs that work to empower and restore relationships between teens and their parents. During the event, Kris and Cole will share their own insights in response to questions about mental wellness support while addressing challenges uniquely faced by professionals of color.
“We have decision-makers at the table who simply don’t understand what it’s like to live with these challenges because they’ve never experienced them,” Kris said. “Without a voice in the room, people will not be able to receive the proper support and resources they need to help them turn their lives around for the better.”
Arbor Circle is proud to partner with members of our local business community to share this important conversation and acknowledge the very real and complex challenges that existed pre-pandemic, as well as those that have been exacerbated by the difficulties of the last year. This effort to highlight the critical need for quality, accessible mental health services goes beyond the event to include ongoing community engagement and partnership opportunities, such as hosting educational presentations, corporate volunteer activities, and investment through fundraising and sponsorship.
Spring Forward, typically an in-person gathering, is slated for the afternoon of Thursday, May 13. This year’s event is entirely virtual and free to attend. Please consider registering here to join Arbor Circle, event sponsors and community members as we share in this important conversation.