Opening Minds

“Opening Minds Ending Stigma” Saving Young Lives


Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people, with statistics showing that 90-percent of those who take their own lives had a mental illness.

OPENING MINDS ENDING STIGMA, a statewide campaign of the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, presents a new mental health awareness broadcast in September in conjunction with National Suicide Prevention Month.

“Opening Minds Ending Stigma: Saving Young Lives,” a 30-minute documentary, airs the weekend of September 9-11 in Detroit and Grand Rapids. The documentary features candid and inspiring stories of young Michigan residents and families impacted by mental illness, who, following treatment and recovery, are actively involved in mental health advocacy and support. Exact show times include:

  • Friday, September 9, at 7:00 p.m. on WXSP in Grand Rapids
  • Saturday, September 10 at 7:30 p.m. on WOOD-TV 8 in Grand Rapids
  • Sunday, September 11 at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 62 in Detroit

The program explores the factors that may increase risks, and provides information to identify warning signs and effectively respond to assist a family member, friend, or ourselves.  It also aims at ending the stigma of mental illness which can prevent young people from seeking help, visiting Michigan schools and universities to reveal programs that offer support to students, particularly those in the highly vulnerable 14 to 24 age range.  Mental health professionals team with educators, and peer support specialists to provide information and insight designed to bring greater understanding of the importance of early intervention.

“One in five young people will experience a mental illness, and our statewide campaign recognizes that we all can play a part in ending the stigma that prevents many young people from seeking help,” said Andrea Cole, Executive Director and CEO of the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation.

“Mental health is just as important as physical health but too often stigma associated with mental health issues still stands in the way of people seeking the help they need,” said Brian Calley, Lt. Governor of the State of Michigan. “The Opening Minds Ending Stigma campaign is a great resource, helping stomp out stigma so that everyone can live healthy, self-determined independent lives,” said Brian Calley, Lt. Governor of the State of Michigan.

Following the September broadcast premiere, “Opening Minds Ending Stigma: Saving Young Lives” may be accessed without charge for educational and community use at  The conversation will also continue with an on-going web and social media campaign, including public services announcements.


The Ethel and James Flinn Foundation is a Detroit-based private grant-making organization with a mission to improve the quality, scope and delivery of mental health services for people in Michigan.  For more information, visit

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services provides opportunities, services, and programs that promote a healthy, safe and stable environment for residents to be self-sufficient.  For more information, visit