Garrett Halpert, of blessed memory.
Garrett Halpert, of blessed memory. (Courtesy of Madeline Halpert)

Garrett’s Space is raising money in support of its wellness program and to establish a holistically focused residential center for young adults struggling with significant mental health issues.

The number of young people lost to suicide continues to rise, and many continue to struggle. There simply aren’t enough effective support options for this population. Garrett’s Space aims to fill that gap.

Garrett’s Space, a suicide prevention nonprofit founded by Julie and Scott Halpert of Ann Arbor after they lost their precious son to suicide at age 23 in 2017, will be holding a 24-hour livestream fundraiser beginning at 11 a.m. Sept. 3 and ending at 11 a.m. Sept. 4 called Go24forGarrett’sSpace.

Mental health issues are widespread among young people. A CDC survey of young adults ages 18-24 during the pandemic showed that 25% of them had seriously considered suicide during the prior 30 days.

Garrett’s Space is raising money in support of its wellness program and to establish a holistically focused residential center for young adults struggling with significant mental health issues. 

With the University of Michigan Depression Center as its partner, Garrett’s Space plans to make its programming and residential center models that can be replicated nationwide.

The 24-hour livestream will be filled with musical performances, talks from inspirational speakers, and yoga, fitness and meditation classes. There will be a roster of highly accomplished Broadway and television performers, including Robert Ariza, a cast member of Hamilton, Jo Ellen Pellman, star of The Prom; Joe Serafini of Disney’s High School Musical; Oscar, Grammy, Tony and Golden Globe Award-winning songwriter Benj Pasek; Ashley Park, a star of Emily in Paris, and DeMarius Copes and Danny Pino of the upcoming Dear Evan Hansen film.

Andy Lassner, executive producer of The Ellen DeGeneres show; David Axelrod, senior CNN political commentator; U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow from Michigan; U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland; and Abdul El-Sayed, a podcast host, physician and former health director in the city of Detroit, will speak.

Restoring Hope

Julie and Scott witnessed firsthand the critical gaps in support in our healthcare system for struggling young adults who need something more than regular visits to their therapist but aren’t actively suicidal.

The Halperts are laser-focused on creating a holistically focused residential center that will be a haven for struggling young adults, where they can feel safe and supported and establish critical connections. They believe this type of place might have helped restore hope for their son, Garrett, and, more importantly, that he would have wanted to go to this type of welcoming refuge. The Halperts are convinced the center will benefit many young adults who are feeling inadequate or are having difficulty navigating the complicated and troubled world. 

The center would include the following types of support and activities: individual and group therapy; coping strategies for difficult and broken relationships; peer-to-peer groups; support for families; and an extensive array of holistic activities focused on teaching healthy behaviors and promoting wellness, including meditation, yoga, healthy cooking, art, journaling and music.

The center will have a non-medical feel; it will be located in a place surrounded by nature, amid tranquil woods with walking paths and therapeutic pets. The residents will be embraced by a warm community of caring staff — primarily social workers, with a medical director.

Garrett’s Space currently is providing a much-needed support option to struggling young adults through its wellness group, where young adults are gathering (currently virtually) three days each week for a support group with their peers, a mood and movement activity and an informal session to connect over icebreakers and games.

Head to www.garrettsspace.org to join and donate. 

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