Leelanau News and Events

First Responders & Spouses Get Mental Health Support On Discovery Cruise

June 24, 2022

The Northwest Michigan Peer Network held its first annual dinner cruise to help promote mental health and healthy relationships with first responders and their spouses on Discovery Cruises’ 65-foot double-decker touring vessel based in Elmwood Township

Cobey Taylor, president of The Northwest Michigan Peer Network, describes the June 22 cruise as “an evening on our beautiful bay with appetizers, and dinner to provide a nice ‘mini vacation’ and mental health class with our responders.”

First responders came from as far north as the U.P. and as far south as Detroit. Shares Taylor, “We had several firefighters from Leelanau County. We ended up with over 20 different departments from throughout the state on board with their significant other.” 

Presenters for the evening were “2 The Rescue” of Grand Rapids. “It is no secret that divorce rates are one of the highest with first responders, and we really want to help reduce those rates by bringing this class to our area,” says Taylor. “This course is designed to educate not only the responder but also his/her significant other, on some of the stressors of the career, the signs and symptoms, and ways they can help promote a better home life.”

Taylor notes, “The spouse is without a doubt our number one support person when we have a bad shift. So, it is important that they understand the emotional roller coaster that their responder might be dealing with when they come home to them.”

He adds, “Northwest Michigan Peer Network could not have made this possible without Discovery Cruises donating their time, boat, crew, and fuel.” Juliet Goodwin donated her time to cater, and the food was paid for by the Northern Michigan Medical Association. 

“It was an amazing night. This is our first annual dinner and we plan on doing it every year.” 

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