Exploring Mental Health through Jazz

Updated: May 14, 2019 09:26 AM

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and 'Northland Healthy Minds' is making the most of it by hosting an array of events throughout the region. One that involves the subject of creativity and jazz is coming up today, May 14. 

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It's called "The Improvised Life: Exploring Intersections Of Mental Health & Creativity Through Jazz," and it features a live performance by jazz guitarist and Grand Rapids Native, Sam Miltich. Northland Healthy Minds Coordinator Lareesa Sandretsky says that, along with playing, he will be sharing his struggles with mental health and how other artists have used their struggles to create art. 

"I think he shows a really good example of what living with a mental illness is really like," she said. "Sharing his story is really effective."

"Conversations are a big part of breaking down stigma," Northland Healthy Minds Program Director Megan Halena said. "Stigma can only live in the dark. So, we just wanted to bring light to the issue and get the message out there that it's okay to talk about it."

At the event will also be a mental health resource fair where people can connect with nonprofits and other groups that support and help those affected by mental illness. A free dinner will also be served.

Childcare will also be available. Attendees can register children by emailing

It runs from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. inside the Denfeld High School Auditorium.



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