Crawford County Avalanche: "Fun Nights are a community effort to provide recreation for the disabled."

From the moment the night begins, the chatter starts. People are animated and the energy level is high. People are greeting each other, catching up on news, sharing summer plans, complimenting each other on their hair ribbons and pretty jewelry, one person's newly shaved moustache, another person's nice new shirt.

Cadillac News:"Breaking age barriers," By Mardi Suhs

Don’t judge a book by what it looks like during high school. Marcia Wieringa admits she "went to high school for fun."

Traverse City Record Eagle: "Transitions: Families, professionals plan for post-school years."

Dawn McConnell wonders what her son William should do when his high school years end a year from now. William can graduate with a special education diploma, or put his diploma on hold and go on for job training through the intermediate school district until age 26.

Cadillac News: "Mental health: Bridging the gap between parents, professionals,"

For the past 15 years, Chris Davis has felt alone. Davis, who lives in Grayling, has a 15-year-old son with severe emotional disorder (SED); since he was young, his mother has felt judged and criticized as a parent; people didn’t understand that her son has SED, a neurological disorder, which causes him to act out.

Cadillac News: "Winter blues linger"

Take a deep breath and a sigh of relief. Today, winter officially ends. While yesterday, snow fell from the skies one last time as winter said good-bye, a corner has been turned and not long from now, birds will be singing and flowers will be blooming. Believe it or not, spring has arrived.

Cadillac News: "Rising above the poverty line"

Jeff Miller has a unique perspective on financial stability. He doesn’t use the traditional markers - how many material items he has or assets bought and traded on the stock exchange - to determine whether he has financial stability. Instead, the 36-year-old uses a much simpler way to come to that conclusion - are all the bills paid and are all the basic needs of his family met?

Cadillac News: “Hitting close to home: A Survivor’s Story”

Lynn Fuller won’t be afraid to speak up the next time she thinks someone is depressed or might be considering suicide. Unfortunately, Fuller learned that lesson the hard way. Last October, Fuller’s brother died by suicide. Fuller said it was no secret that her brother was depressed, and he even was in therapy to help him deal with his depression. Despite knowing all of this, Fuller said when she got the phone call that her brother had died, it was unexpected.

Inspirational Art: Gift of painting will benefit recovery art groups (Grand Traverse Insider)

Dr. Frank Tosiello of Traverse City recently donated a painting to Northern Lakes Community Mental Health (CMH) to be auctioned with proceeds to benefit the organization’s free recovery art groups. The painting was sold to anonymous donors who then donated the painting back to the mental health organization for permanent display. Dr. Tosiello’s gift raised $510, which will be used to purchase paint, paper and other supplies to support people learning to use art as a means to live a healthier, less stressful life.

Doctor gives the gift of art: Painting nets hundreds for mental health organization

TRAVERSE CITY -- Dr. Frank Tosiello found a way to combine his passion for painting and his commitment to the mental health community by offering one of his paintings for sale to benefit Northern Lakes Community Mental Health. The painting, a replica of Rembrandt's "A Woman Bathing in a Stream," was sold to an anonymous purchaser for $510, who then donated the painting back to the mental health organization for permanent display. Proceeds raised from the sale will be used for art supplies for free-to-the-community art groups.

Cadillac News: "Finding Happiness"

It’s late winter and we’re living in a depressed economy, but that doesn’t mean your emotional well-being has to suffer. Val Bishop, chief operating officer at Northern Lakes Community Mental Health for six regional counties, offers simple ways to enhance your happiness while living in a bad economy:

Cadillac News: “Insuring mental health: closing the gap”

by Jeff Broddle NOTE: A recent telephone survey of adults…

MACMHB Blog Features Northern Lakes' Public Relations Efforts

Taken from the Michigan Association of CMH Boards publication, Connections: The CMH BOARD BLOG is the place that we post articles and links to information too lengthy for publication in Connections. It’s also the online forum where you can post comments about the articles, or just do a little free writing of your own.