Reality show star coming to east Idaho to promote mental health awareness

Idaho Falls

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Emmanuel Kelly on the X Factor | Courtesy Rein Weil

IDAHO FALLS — A local group is hosting a fundraiser Saturday night in Idaho Falls aimed at addressing the topic of mental illness.

Rein Weil is the organizer of Every Life Worth Living. Weil says nearly everyone involved in planning the event has been personally impacted by mental illness in one way or another.

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“Almost everyone in the group has had relatives or close family members struggle with anxiety or depression, and if not, have struggled with it themselves,” Weil tells EastIdahoNews.com.

Another group involved in the planning of Every Life Worth Living is Hillcrest High School’s Hope Squad. The Hope Squad is a group of students selected by the student body to get their struggling classmates in touch with people who can help them.

Jared Emfield, the adult advisor for the group, says he has seen some positive results since the Squad was implemented this year.

“What I liked about the Hope Squad from the minute I started learning about the program was that they eliminate the secrecy,” Emfield says. “It’s only when we don’t communicate about (depression and anxiety) that it becomes dangerous.”

The Hope Squad will be volunteering their time at the event on Saturday. Much like The Hope Squad, the purpose of Every Life Worth Living, according to Weil, is about showing people the importance of life and resources available for those who struggle.

“We’re trying to promote positivity within the community. We want people who are struggling with mental health issues to know that there are resources available to them,” Weil says.

The X Factor’s Emmanuel Kelly will be the featured performer.

Kelly was born in Iraq with no limbs. He was rescued from an orphanage in Iraq as a child, and later adopted by Moira Kelly in Melbourne, Australia. He has had several surgeries since then to give him prosthetic limbs.

Every Life Worth Living is open to everyone. It’s happening at Bonneville High School in Idaho Falls at 7:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend but donations are being accepted to raise money for local charities, including The Hope Squad and Bonneville County Youth Development Council.

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