By Jake Goldberg – Collegiate Staff
The Be Nice Club just celebrated the club’s first semester at Grand Rapids Community College. The “be nice” club is a mental health and suicide prevention organization which stands for “Notice, Invite, Challenge, and Power.”
The organization was founded by the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. The Be Nice program has been spreading its message at many schools in the Grand Rapids area from colleges to local public schools, such as Grand Valley State University, Grandville High School and Byron Center High School.
Hilda Martinez-Gutierrez, advisor to the Be Nice club said it’s not only important to have anti-bullying and mental health foundations in elementary schools, but also in higher education.
“It just fits in,” Martinez-Gutierrez said. “We’ve been able to open up the platform about the stigma of what mental illness is, and college is transitional enough for anyone’s part of life. It’s a very transitional period of anyone’s life so we find ourselves not talking a lot about what mental illness is.”
GRCC student Cristian Barajas, and treasurer of the Be Nice club, said being nice has a special meaning to him.
“When I was younger I always felt bullied,” Barajas said. “I feel like ‘Be Nice’ is a good thing to bring into community college, cause people do have hard times. They do get bullied.”
Students who want to get involved with the club can find them on GRCC’s OrgSync, or can find more information at the Student Life Office, first floor of the Student Center.