SHELBY TWP, Mich. (FOX 2) - "The SHED is an acronym for Stimulating Humanistic Existinalism Development."
Kind of a mouthful isn't it? But it's message is clear and goal is timely. That's Dillion St. Pierre speaking and he was one of the students that helped inspire southeast Michigan's newest group helping those struggling with mental health.
While its founder has always worked to target people struggling with suicide and the like, SHED is intended to aid young people alive - particularly high school students.
"What drove us to create the SHED was actually a conversation with four teenagers five years ago," said Dennis Liegghio, founder of SHED. "And we wanted to build something that would help teens struggling with mental health issues."
St. Pierre was one of those students. Jacob DeYonker was another.
"I did not have suicidal thoughts, it never got that bad but it was because of the support system of my close friends that I had and the lessons that they taught me along the way," said DeYonker.
While SHED is a new group to aid those struggling, it's not the first nonprofit set up by Liegghio. When he was a teenager, his father died by suicide. It was from that pain that he started Know Resolve in 2007.
Its aim was to prevent suicide and raise awareness. SHED is designed to target that goal toward a specific demographic.
"One of the strongest protective factors against suicide is feeling connected with your peers and with a trusted caring adult so we hope to serve that in this space," he said.
Whether it's a success remains to be seen. However, at least one school counselor in attendance at SHED's unveiling felt confident it would.
"This initiative will be successful if we start seeing a decrease in suicide and suicide attempts among our youth and an increase in them talking about suicide and talking about their mental health issues," said Catherine Livingston,