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Event promotes mental health three years after death of Granger mom

NOW: Event promotes mental health three years after death of Granger mom

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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.—The third annual “Out of the Shadows” event held in memory of a Granger mom who took her own life will be held on August 3.

In their nearly 100-year-old house, there are reminders everywhere, including photos of family reunions and holidays, that Kay and Larry Green never want to forget.

“We heard of mental illness of course. But we had a great family. Everyone got together all the time and we thought, this is our family, that happens to other families out there. That’s what we found out. It can happen to anybody. Anybody,” Kay Green, organizer of “Out of the Shadows,” said.

In 2016, at the age of 52, their daughter Michelle Green Ellenberger took her own life after a lengthy battle with mental illness.

Three years later, memories of that day are still fresh for the Green family.

“When I saw her purse and her phone, I knew something was wrong. We looked for 2 hours before we found her,” Larry Green said. “She would talk and be so nice and pleasant. Outside of us, she showed a different face.”

Behind Michelle’s peppy smile, was pain. That pain became the catalyst for creating “Out of the Shadows.”

The event on Saturday will offer counselors for anyone who may need one, and hope, for those battling mental illness.

“At the beginning, we usually have everyone in a line take one step forward and we say, this is your first step out of the shadows. First year, no one stood up and talked. Last year we had seven people that were brave enough and I know how hard it was for them, to stand up and talk about what they have been through and how hard they are fighting. Michelle fought for a lot of years. We are hoping to change the way people look at people with mental illness.”

From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Battell Park band shell in Mishawaka, the “Out of the Shadows” event will offer the community a chance to discuss mental health.

There will be food, free t-shirts, and live music throughout the event.

If you are or someone you know is in crisis, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling (800) 273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line by texting “Home” to 741741.

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