Support local mental health services through laughter.

February 6, 2019

Support local mental health services through laughter.



SHELBY – The Fountain Hill Center for Counseling and Consultation will host its annual Laughing Matters fundraiser Saturday, Feb. 23, from 6-9 p.m. at the Shelby Optimist Club.

Now in its fifth year, this night of great food and great comedy supports the Fountain Hill Center Lakeshore Counseling Office in New Era.

“We’re so proud of the way Laughing Matters challenges stigma by placing mental health services in a positive light,” said Executive Coordinator for the Fountain Hill Center Amy Van Gunst. “Too often we bring along really negative images when we think of mental and behavioral health, and this kind of stigma can have a pretty significant impact on low-income, rural communities. This event provides people with a place to gather and not just challenge stigma, but celebrate the wholeness and joy that comes with being mentally and emotionally healthy.”

Last year, Laughing Matters raised enough money to put 340 people into a counseling session. But hundreds more could benefit from having increased access to counseling services. Oceana County has one of the lowest mental health service provider ratios of any county in Michigan, with only one provider for every 4,350 people. But statistically, the rate of mental illness is about one in five.

This year, Laughing Matters will feature a fantastic dinner, a performance from the Shelby High School Choir, and hilarious stand-up from comedian Scott Long. All proceeds will be used to cover the cost of counseling services at the Fountain Hill Center Lakeshore Counseling Office for people who can’t afford it.

Event tickets are $50 and can be purchased by calling (616) 456-1178 or online via the Fountain Hill Center Facebook and Eventbrite pages.

The Shelby Optimist Club is located 788 Industrial Park Dr.

This year’s fundraiser is made possible in part by the generous support of a growing list of sponsors, including Gales Agency, Klotz Agency – Farm Bureau, and Shelby State Bank.

The Fountain Hill Center is a nonprofit collective of 15 licensed, independent therapists, with offices in Grand Rapids and New Era. Its mission is to provide pathways to healing and transformation, both personal and relational, through diverse and innovative therapeutic, educational, evaluative, and consultative services. In addition to providing individual counseling for children, adolescents, and adults, it also offers couples and family counseling, group counseling, and court-related and professional services. Visit for more information.


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