Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative (SWMJC) is a dynamic group of 12 partners representing media, educational or community organizations dedicated to strengthening local journalism. We support and enhance the news ecosystem in Southwest Michigan, to provide accurate and equitable coverage, and to promote diversity of voices among journalists and sources alike.

A solutions-oriented journalism initiative covering mental health issues in Southwest Michigan.

By many accounts, the negative societal stigma associated with mental health problems — seeking counseling in particular — is as low as it’s ever been. Experts point to the pandemic’s effect on the rise in telehealth and how that has helped ease many people skittish about receiving help into therapy or how social media has helped raise awareness of mental health problems and provided a space for people to interact with others who are struggling with the same issues.
Local leaders who work with young people say a generational mental health crisis is looming but not inevitable. To avoid a crisis requires more adequate funding for services – not a new need by any means. The leaders also expressed a need less well-known outside of social service circles: Youth know what they need, and they know what works for them, so providers need to listen more and direct less.