Ann Arbor suicide prevention nonprofit to hold 24-hour fundraiser in September

Guests include actors, Broadway cast members, public figures

(Storyblocks Enterprise)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Suicide prevention nonprofit Garrett’s Space is holding its second annual 24-hour livestream fundraiser to support young adults with mental health challenges.

From 11 a.m. on Friday, September 3 to 11 a.m on Saturday, September 4, community members can tune in to musical performances, inspirational talks, fitness classes, yoga and meditation times during the Go 24 for Garrett’s Space fundraiser.

The Ann Arbor-based organization was created in 2017 when Julie and Scott Halpert lost their son Garrett, age 23, to suicide.

The nonprofit helps young adults with mental health issues through a wellness and support group. Participants meet with peers virtually three times a week to connect and do activities.

“Go 24 for Garrett’s Space is an opportunity to shine a light on the serious impact suicide and mental health challenges have on our community,” Julie Halpert said in a release. “Today, more than ever, there is a tremendous need for Garrett’s Space and the services we provide. We’re thrilled to welcome well-known personas and celebrities to our 24-hour livestream event for an exciting day of performances and entertainment.”

A recent survey conducted by the Centers for Disease and Prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic showed 25% of survey respondents ages 18 to 24 had considered killing themselves within 30 days of the survey.

Through the September event, the nonprofit will raise funds for its young adult program and establish a residential center for those ages 18-28 with mental health troubles.

Garrett’s Space will partner with the University of Michigan Depression Center to make programming and residential center models replicable across the United States, the organization said.

“While seeking treatment for Garrett, we witnessed first-hand 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,” Scott Halpert said in a release. “We believe the services we’re striving to provide may have helped restore hope for our son, and we want to provide that hope for youth struggling today.”

Guests for the fundraiser include:

  • Physician, author and speaker Dr. Abdul El-Sayed
  • Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow
  • U.S. Representative Jamie Raskin
  • Senior CNN political commentator David Axelrod
  • The Ellen DeGeneres Show executive producer Andy Lassner
  • Hamilton cast member Robert Ariza
  • Actors Jo Ellen Pellman (The Prom), Joe Serafini (High School Musical), Isabella Gomez (One Day at a Time), DeMarius Copes and Danny Pino (Dear Evan Hansen)
  • Award-winning songwriter Benj Pasek

Watch the livestream here or visit the Garrett’s Space website for more information.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.