Amy Leiseth and Kerstin Jones are this month’s Community Advocates, brought to us by The Advocates at Driggs, Bills & Day.
Amy and Kerstin organized a project to make a bracelet for every student at Herriman High. That’s 3,200 bracelets in total! The inspiration for this idea came about in the aftermath of the tragic suicides that happened at Herriman High last year.
“Members of my own family deal with depression, so mental health issues are always on my mind,” says Amy.
She heard of the Thrive program that the Herriman High counseling center had implemented at the school. Each month they teach the kids ways to care for themselves and their mental health such as making healthy connections with others, taking care of their bodies with sleep, exercise, and nutrition, being resilient in hard times, etc.
“All of these things were on my mind when I had the inspiration that the kids may benefit from a physical symbol that would remind them of the things that they had learned,” says Amy. “I also wanted to show the kids that their families and community members love and care for each of them and that they matter to us. I wanted to continue the conversations about mental health and wellness. That is how the idea for the bracelets came about.”
The bracelets, which were handed out with a card to each student as they walked into school, represent UNITY, CONNECTION, and STRENGTH. They are string bracelets made in Herriman High school colors
Kerstin volunteered to help Amy and was so inspired by her, she nominated her for this month’s Community Advocate Award.
The community response to our requests for help was amazing! So many people got together numerous times to help at bracelet making parties or took bracelet packets home to work on. One brother and sister in Kerstin’s neighborhood easily made over 300 by themselves! It was really unexpected but awesome to see how the project impacted people in our community. It reaffirmed to me how good people are and how willing they are to help and serve, especially when it comes to showing love and support to our kids.
“The response was very positive. Our kids that attend the high school told us that the students loved them and nearly everyone they saw was wearing them, and most kids are still wearing them,” says Amy. “I don’t know the full effect the bracelets had on the students. My hope is that they helped the kids feel connected and more aware of each other. Maybe it helped someone reach out to another in need, or maybe it started a conversation with a parent and child about mental wellness.”
Know a good Samaritan? Nominate a Community Advocate today! Just click here. An Advocate seeks to ensure that people have their voice heard on issues that are important to them. To defend and safeguard their rights and have their wishes considered when decisions are being made about their lives.
For more information on The Advocates at Driggs, Bills & Day call (801) 326-0809 or visit utahadvocates.com.
This segment includes sponsored content.