Since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in the United States. This May, the OCF joins other organizations and individuals who are committed to raising awareness of and erasing the stigma around mental illness. Supporting mental health, which includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being, is an important part of creating a strong community.  

The following programs, which address various mental health challenges in Otsego County, were funded by OCF funds and funding partners during the 2024 Community Grant Program grant cycle.  

Health Department of Northwest Michigan Community Health—Gaylord Wellness Programs, Mental Health Crisis Kits for K-8 Students 

The Gaylord Wellness Program provides crisis mental health toolkits to K-8 students who could benefit from physical coping skills and resources for additional mental health support. Each kit is designed for each grade level and school building. This project was funded by the Deerfield Computer Associates Fund of the OCF and Munson Healthcare OMH.  

Hospice of Michigan—Camp Good Grief 

Camp Good Grief is a free day camp designed for children ages 8-17 who have experienced the death of a loved one. This camp addresses children’s needs from their perspective, in an environment filled with age-appropriate activities under the guidance of certified grief counselors and trained volunteers. This project was funded by the Brenden Gorney Fund of the OCF and the Deerfield Computer Associates Fund of the OCF.  

Northern Family Intervention Services, Inc.—NFIS In-Home Behavioral Health Interventions 

The In-Home Behavioral Interventions program will identify at risk families who will receive intensive parent management and social skills training, crisis support, and linking to community resources. These families will also be recommended for services by the local DHHS and CMH leadership. This project was funded by the Gaylord Edward Jones Fund of the OCF and the Community Fund of the OCF. 

Northern Michigan Children’s Assessment Center—Mental Health Services for Otsego County 

This program will provide mental health services for children who have experienced sexual abuse. These children often face health and behavioral issues, and sexual abuse victims report more post-traumatic stress disorder, sadness, and school problems than non-victims. The impacts of child abuse and other forms of trauma can have lifelong effects on children and families. This project was funded by the Tom Gill Memorial Fund of the OCF.  

State Trooper Outreach Partnership Gaylord Chapter—Sensory Room-GIS 

The S.T.O.P. Gaylord Chapter will renovate and furnish a sensory room at Gaylord Intermediate School (GIS). Improvements to the sensory room would create a better environment for students to learn self-regulation and social and emotional skills with the help of counselors. This project was funded by the Rotary Club of Gaylord Fund of the OCF, the Youth Fund of the OCF, the Amar Fox Fund of the OCF, and the Otsego County United Way.  

The OCF’s commitment to strengthening our community means we will continue to support initiatives that address the mental health needs of Otsego County residents. If you wish to donate to help this cause or others, please visit our donations page. We are stronger together.