How GLR Advanced Recycling is crushing the stigma around mental health

December 22, 2020

According to a 2019 research study, 7of 10 teens see depression or anxiety as a serious problem, something Michael Bassirpour is aware of in his own family. Losing his own brother to mental illness in 2010, Bassirpour wanted to do more to help his community, but recycling and mental health don't exactly go together, so that pushed Bassipour to get creative. 

Roseville, Michigan-based GLR Advanced Recycling (GLR) partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ Metro Detroit chapter, NAMI Metro, to create a program targeted at teens. The program, Crush The Stigma, launched at Livonia Churchill High School in 2019. 

GLR crushes and recycles old cars, so Bassirpour thought Crush The Stigma' applied to those cars and mental health. Students were able to write mental health-related words and phrases on two vehicles and, after a few days, those same students watched GLR crush those cars.  

That event was followed by an assembly and chances to speak with mental health professionals, giving teens more resources if they felt they needed them.

“Mental illness is becoming an epidemic among youth, and we want to help raise awareness, highlight resources available and provide more help to those in need,” Bassirpour says. “We want students to understand there is no shame in mental health issues and introduce them to the abundant resources available."

Bassirpour says he looks forward to the COVID-19 pandemic ending so this program can re-enter schools and potentially expand outside Michigan in the future. 

 

Michael Bassirpour, CEO of GLR, lost his brother to mental illness and wanted to use his business to help spread awareness about the help that's available.