Former first lady Rosalynn Carter will be in West Michigan to talk about her new book on mental health, Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis.
The event, sponsored in part by Grand Valley's Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, will take place Tuesday, October 26, at 1:30 p.m. at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in downtown Grand Rapids.
At the conclusion of the speech, a discussion will be held with the following panelists:
• Gregory Dziadosz, president and CEO of Touchstone Innovarè
• Mark Eastburg, president and CEO of Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
• Paul Ippel, executive director of Network 180, the mental health authority and substance abuse coordinating agency for Kent County
As first lady from 1977-81, Rosalynn Carter served as the honorary chair of the President’s Commission on Mental Health. The commission ultimately pushed through the passage of the 1980 Mental Health Systems Act, which boosted funding for mental illnesses. When the Carters returned to Georgia, they established the Carter Center, where Rosalynn created a program devoted solely to mental health.
“We are extremely honored to help host Mrs. Carter,” said Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center. “She gives struggling families, communities, and health care professionals hope that we can soon begin to overcome the mental health crisis plaguing our nation.”
The event is also sponsored by the Gerald R. Ford Library, Museum, and Foundation and Founders Bank & Trust.
Mrs. Carter will also help Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services celebrate its 100th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the Pine Rest Foundation. She will speak at a dinner celebration the evening of October 26, at 7 p.m., at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids.
For more information on the afternoon event, contact the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at (616) 331-2770. For more information on the Pine Rest celebration, call (616) 281-6363.