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ACCESS distributes school supplies, backpacks at Back-to-School Celebration

Event brings attention to importance of mental health, celebrates local families

Dearborn, Mich. – ACCESS, the nation’s largest Arab American community nonprofit, today supplied over 300 students with backpacks and other school supplies at the ACCESS School-Based Mental Health Initiative Back- to-School Celebration. Participating students from six local elementary and middle schools, along with their parents, received backpacks and enjoyed a variety of games and activities at the organization’s headquarters, located in Dearborn’s South End.

The ACCESS School-Based Mental Health Initiative organized the event as part of its mission to promote mental health well-being by providing psychological services to individuals and families through the local school system. ACCESS mental health professionals also utilized the Back-to-School Celebration to provide information to community members about the importance of attending to the mental health-related needs of themselves and their families.

“One of the primary goals of the School Based Mental Health Initiative is to raise community awareness on the importance of mental health,” said JoAnne Halaweh, the Coordinator of the School-Based Mental Health Initiative. “Mental health can be a sensitive topic within the communities we serve, making it a challenge to ensure that both children and adults who are struggling psychologically receive the support they need. By offering educational workshops to school staff and parents, we hope that we can change those perspectives,” said Halaweh.

In addition to raising community awareness of the importance of mental health and preparing local students for the upcoming school year, the School-Based Mental Health Initiative held the event to give back to those families who have supported the program throughout the year.

“Our community is the focus of everything we do here at ACCESS. It is important that we show our appreciation for the way that so many community members have warmly embraced our efforts over the years – even when those efforts sometimes involve subjects that are uncomfortable to address,” said Halaweh.

Follow this link, for photos from the event.


Grounded in a grassroots commitment to serving our community, ACCESS has a 45-year history of providing health, education, employment and social services.  An Arab American nonprofit of excellence, ACCESS empowers communities in Southeast Michigan to improve their economic, social and cultural well-being and extends this mission nationally through advocacy, arts, culture and philanthropy