Birmingham high school students raise $50K for mental health

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The mass shooting in Parkland, Fla. earlier this week has put an increased focus on mental health. 

Students at a high school in Birmingham, Mich. worked together, raising an impressive amount of money to help those with mental illnesses. 

It was Charity Week at Groves High School, and we're told students chose to support NAMI, The National Alliance on Mental Illness. They raised a whopping $52,000. 

"I am so proud of them. I am so proud of my students and how hard they worked to make it happen," said Kara Mason, a Groves student advisor. "But it is the whole Groves community, it's incredible. I don't think there was a person in this building that didn't contribute in some way."

Their strong efforts couldn't be more timely. Florida's high school massacre that left 17 people dead and many more wounded is the 18th shooting on school grounds so far this year. (Read more about the facts of all those gun-related incidents here.)

Many of the shooters in those 18 cases had a mental illness. The signs were there.

This generation is becoming more aware of the challenges associated with mental illness. A NAMI representative told students Thursday it's important to learn the signs and get help for yourself -- but also, equally important, to recognize the signs and struggles in others. 

"I think it is awesome this age group of students wants to erase that stigma and do what we can to help," Mason said.

And, boy, did they ever. They raised more than $52,000 through 26 separate events, ranging from talent shows and teacher taboo to the coin stall, which collects money to put class on hold, and by selling candy grams.

The money collected exceeded student Congress's expectations, and those of the entire student body. It will go toward bringing awareness to mental illness and programs to help those suffering. 

"This is a step in the right direction with the school and the whole community coming together," said Josh Klein. "Raising this much money for single cause will help people get the help they need."