be nice. book

4 Simple Steps to Recognize Depression and Save Lives

“Honest. Accurate. Accessible. An outstanding resource for individuals, friends and family members, and for community organizers and advocates."

Anita Everett, MD, DFAPA, director, Center for Mental Health Services US, HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services

4 Simple StepsTo Recognize Depression and Prevent SuicideThis book offers a tool to help improve and potentially save someone’s life. Pink ball with shadow


Readers will find authentic, real-life examples and practical applications for mental health concerns using the proven methods of the Mental Health Foundation's evidence-based program, be nice.

When put into practice, there is no greater way to share your love and support with someone struggling with mental illness.


The be nice. action plan provides a concrete method for society to embrace while approaching an individual experiencing mental health concerns in an appropriate and caring way. After reading this book, you will be empowered with the knowledge to improve lives and help prevent suicide in your daily life and community.

The mental health action plan proven to save lives.

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be nice.When it comes to mental health education, be nice. is the right approach. Period. Pink ball with shadow


The be nice. program is proven to increase mental health awareness and prevent suicide. This was found in a three-year evidence-based study performed by Grand Valley State University. The research professors studied the program in a school setting over the span of three years to prove its effectiveness in making a change when it comes to mental health. Ultimately, the study proves the be nice. program enables a positive climate.


It inspires an atmosphere that does not tolerate bullying and provides an awareness surrounding the mental health aspects of negative social behaviors. Implementation of the program creates a sense of connectedness among peers and develops a positive culture with an emphasis on compassion, understanding, and awareness.

This book is worth sharing.


It's our goal to educate individuals to reduce the shame, stigma, and secrecy surrounding mental illnesses and treatment so fewer people struggle silently and more people seek help. Be prepared when a mental health concern arises in your home, school, workplace, or social circle.


YOU can help us get this action plan into the hands of the people you care about. This book is a great way to open up the conversation surrounding mental health within a group setting.

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the authors

Christy's trademarked be nice. program, and Jeff's personal ambition to bring about change in this growing epidemic of depression and suicide, has made for a passionate and ambitious pair, dedicated to equipping communities with a culture that can improve and even save lives through a simple action plan...be nice.

Christy Buck


Christy Buck has more than 33 years of experience in the mental health field. Buck’s passion for transforming and saving lives through mental health education led her to develop two classroom programs, 'be nice. extension' (originally Live, Laugh, Love) for middle and high school students, and ‘be nice.’ Since 2006, she and her staff have passionately presented to over 250,000 people in West Michigan on mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

Jeff Elhart


Jeff Elhart serves as an advocate for mental illness awareness and suicide prevention education by promoting the simple action plan called be nice. He is an active member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention as well as suicide prevention coalitions in the state of Michigan. Jeff is a suicide loss survivor having lost his brother, best friend and business partner in their family business Elhart Automotive Campus in Holland, Michigan Wayne to depression by suicide in 2015.

beyond the wordsPodcast Mini SeriesEpisode 1: Looking Back and Looking Ahead
Episode 2: The Tool That's Saving Lives
Episode 3: Turning Knowledge Into Action

Contact the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan

349 Division Ave S Grand Rapids, MI 49503


info@benice.org | 616.389.8601

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