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The Sunset Project Partners with Alpena Public Schools to Promote Mental Health Awareness Month

Alpena, Michigan - May 2023

As part of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, The Sunset Project is excited to announce our involvement in Alpena Public Schools' "Mental Health Awareness Month" Panel discussion on Tuesday, May 16th at 5:30 PM.

This is a free event, hosted in the Alpena High School Auditorium, and is open to all members of the Northeast Michigan Community. This event is an excellent opportunity for individuals to come and learn more from area organizations that are shedding light on mental health awareness.

The Sunset Project, in partnership with NAMI Grand Traverse, will present the community audience section of "Ending The Silence," an evidence-based, nationally recognized program developed by The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). This presentation directly coordinates with the student presentations, which will occur in Alpena High School classrooms the following day.

The "Ending The Silence" presentation will begin at 7 P.M. in the Alpena High School (AHS) Auditorium, immediately following an informative community panel discussion that will take place at 5:30 P.M.

The entire event will be live streamed and recorded on the Alpena Public Schools YouTube channel, which can be found here: Alpena Public Schools Youtube Channel

"We are proud to partner with Alpena Public Schools and many other local agencies to promote mental health awareness," said Kevin O'Brien, Director of The Sunset Project's Northeast Michigan Wellness Initiative (NEMWI). "We believe that this event will help bring further awareness to the importance of mental health and highlight the available resources in the community."

The event is being organized by Alpena Public Schools and is supported by several local agencies, including Alcona Health Center, Catholic Human Services, MyMichigan Health, Northeast Michigan Community Mental Health Authority, Thunder Bay Community Health Services, AMA-ESD, Partners in Prevention, District Health Department #4, and The Community Foundation of Northeast Michigan.

The panel discussion will include representatives from the school district and community partners. If time permits, general questions may be asked of the panel members, and displays of informational booths from many of the evening's partners will commence at 5:00 p.m. in the lobby outside the AHS Auditorium.

The panelists include representatives from various agencies, including Nancy Spencer from Alcona Health Center, Lori Vaught and Dr. Brandy Shooks from Alpena Public Schools, Pam Knaffle and Dr. Richard Bates from Thunder Bay Community Health Services, Nena Sork from Northeast Michigan Community Mental Health Authority, Larry LaCross from Catholic Human Services, Cami Misiak from My Michigan Health, Mindy Daoust from District Health Department 4, Mary Schalk from Partners in Prevention, Sarah Griffore from Alcona, Montmorency, Alpena Education Service District, and Dr. Don McMaster from Alpena Community College.

Evening Agenda:

Displays prior to presentation:

  • Alcona Health Center

  • Catholic Human Services

  • Northeast Michigan Community Mental Health Authority

  • Thunder Bay Community Health Service, Inc.

  • MyMichigan Health

  • Alpena Public Schools

  • Northeast Michigan Community Foundation

  • Partners in Prevention

5:30 p.m. Welcome

Dr. David Rabbideau, Superintendent, Alpena Public Schools

5:35 p.m. Mental Health Panel Discussion


  • Nancy Spencer, Alcona Health Center

  • Lori Vaught, Alpena Public Schools

  • Dr. Brandy Shooks, Alpena Public Schools

  • Pam Knaffle, Thunder Bay Community Health Services

  • Dr. Richard Bates, Thunder Bay Community Health Services

  • Nena Sork, Northeast Michigan Community Mental Health Authority

  • Larry LaCross, Catholic Human Services

  • Cami Misiak, My Michigan Health

  • Mindy Daoust, District Health Department 4

  • Mary Schalk, Partners in Prevention

  • Sarah Griffore, Alcona, Montmorency, Alpena Education Service District

  • Dr. Don McMaster, Alpena Community College

7:00 p.m. "Ending The Silence" Presentation

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