New curriculum coming to schools to address mental illness

UPPER PENINSULA — 1 in 5 people will experience mental illness in their lifetime and about half of those have the symptoms by the age of 14 years old.

The Great Lakes Recovery Center recently received a grant from the Superior Health Foundation to train teachers across the U.P. in a new curriculum called “Mental Health and High School”.

Their goal is to reduce the stigma around mental illness by getting out there in the schools and teaching kids about different coping strategies or how to help somebody experiencing difficulties.

“The suicide rate among young people in the U.P. is high. In the state of Michigan it is about 7.9% and in the U.P. it is 14.2%, that’s almost twice the state level of suicide in young people between the ages of 24.We want to get kids help as soon as we can,” said Amy Poirier, Foundation Coordinator.

The teachers will go through a 1 day training session on March 7th.