be nice. Schools

be nice. Schools

be nice. is an evidence based mental health education program that changes, improves, and saves lives.

be nice. is an evidence-based,
K-12 systematic approach to behavioral and mental health education and awareness.

Evidence reports the implementation of the be nice. Program:

  • Increases mental health awareness and resources available among staff, students, and parents
  • Decreases the number of behavioral referrals and bullying incidents
  • Increase in suicide prevention behaviors
  • Increase in school connectedness
  • Movement of school district towards a more positive school climate.
  • This program works best when there is support from the top down.

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After all the school visits and the interviews with students, faculty and parents, I can honestly say that the be nice. Program has had a deep and lasting impact on me. The research Dr. R. Higbea and I have conducted on the program has shown me that the be nice. Program truly makes a difference for our students in the way they treat one another and in their mental health awareness.

- Rosemary Cleveland, Ed.D.

Grand Valley State University

be nice. Elementary School

Program Coordinator: Kandice Sloop

The elementary program is centered around be nice. Liaisons. The liaisons can be school staff, teachers and/or parents from your school. The number of liaisons you have at your building is up to you! The liaisons will make decisions on how best to launch be nice. Programming in your school and will hold your school accountable in sustaining the program. This level takes a classroom approach to learning mental health.

be nice. Middle and High School

Program Coordinator: Cat Lanting

The middle and high school program leverages the enthusiasm of your students to make a change in your school. The program is centered around a group of student leaders who, with the help of a few motivated trained liaisons, plan, launch and sustain the be nice. initiative at your school.

be nice. Launch Kit for First Year Schools

This kit has everything first year schools need to successfully launch the be nice. Program within their building. The Launch Kit includes the basic essentials for each level (elementary, middle, and high school). One kit is required per building.

The Launch Kit Includes:

Training & Education

  • Training for the be nice. School Liaison(s) hosted by the Foundation staff (in-person training available for local counties).
  • Training Book with instructions on how to launch the be nice. initiative in your school.

Sustainability and Continued Support

  • Staff and online support for sustaining the program in your building or district throughout the year.
  • Access to the be nice. Online School Portal for additional school wide activities, fundraising ideas, assembly outlines, and more.


  • 30 t-shirts, wristbands, lanyards, posters, and a flag to generate excitement and begin the movement.
  • Access to the be nice. School Shop within the portal with exclusive discounts on merchandise and school supplies.

Middle & High includes:

Elementary Kit also includes:

  • Lesson plans according to Common Core that reinforce the be nice. message in the classroom.

Price: $2500

For information about funding available in your county please contact our office.

be nice. Renewal Kit for Second+ Year Schools

The be nice. Program is a district-wide initiative to be implemented year after year. Repetition creates familiarity making the be nice.Action Plan common language. The goal is for students, school and support staff, and families to feel comfortable talking openly and honestly about mental health. It’s proven that be nice. students are more apt to utilize resources if they are struggling or let a trusted adult know if they're worried about a friend.

Once your school has successfully launched the first year of programming, the renewal fee supplies you with the tools you need to successfully sustain programming.


For information about funding available in your county please contact our office.

What does it mean to be an even nicer school?

Take the students' confidence in mental health and suicide prevention a step further with continued education in health class.

be nice. Extension

(previously Live Laugh Love, LLL) uses the Action Plan as an interactive 4-class series to help students recognize the symptoms of depression and the warning signs of suicide in themselves, a friend or family member. The curriculum is designed to help young people who may be personally affected by mental illness to get past the stigma and seek treatment. This program creates resiliency.

Lesson Plans Include:

  • Introduction to mental health
  • How to recognize and decrease the stigma associated with mental illness
  • How to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety along with other illnesses
  • How to recognize the warning signs of suicide and the proper tools to respond appropriately.
  • What to do when you notice a change in your mental health
  • What resources are available in your school and community
  • Knowledge of both risk and protective factors
  • be nice. Action Plan - notice, invite, challenge, empower

Quotes from be nice. Extension Students:

Interested in launching the be nice. Program in your school? Contact us for more information!

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Contact the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan

349 Division Ave S Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | 616.389.8601

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