LOCAL NEWS

Syracuse High senior creates ‘crisis kits’ for students having hard time

May 30, 2022, 8:46 PM | Updated: May 31, 2022, 11:40 am

SYRACUSE, Utah — A Syracuse High School senior is putting together a meaningful service project, as her parting gift to the school.

She wants to make a difference by helping kids deal with the hardest parts of high school, which can sometimes be tough to talk about.

Hailey Barrett may have just graduated last week, but she’s still very much focused on class.

In her home on Monday, she grabbed a piece of paper on top of a pile of papers, titled “Top 10 Test Taking Tips.”

Hailey wants her former schoolmates to succeed, even if she’s moving on.

Especially because of how tough she knows it can be at times.

“For me, it was so hard being in high school, and having all that stress,” she expressed.

The senior grad wanted to help ease the stress and anxiety that onsets with the pressure of juggling good grades, extra-curricular activities, and a job.

She came up with the idea of creating crisis kits for the counseling center to hand out to students.

“That was important to me to help them find ways for them to cope with what they’re going through,” she said.

Each crisis kit bag is filled with items like tip sheets, stress management techniques, coloring paper and pencils, mental health-related app suggestions, fidget keychains, cognitive behavioral therapy cards, and even a couple Hi-Chew candies.

Hailey held up a few cards, each color-coded. The cognitive behavioral therapy cards, she indicated, provide information on how to manage anxiety and stress that someone may usually only get from visiting a licensed professional.

She has made 30 of the kits that she plans to bring to the school this week and has a goal of making more next year.

Hailey is also collecting a couple of dozen blankets to donate, and a neighbor has volunteered to embroider the school logo and a heart on each one.

“It’s just for people who went through a traumatic experience or the hospital, so when they come back, they feel like they got a hug,” she said.

Hailey wants to let them know it’ll be OK when they come back to school after what they just experienced.

It’s the kind of message Hailey once needed back in 2020 when she said she was hospitalized.

“I just led myself into a dead-end, and I just was like, ‘I can’t do it anymore,’” she said. “And that just was the really hard, dark part of my high school was just– I did so much and I thought I could handle it all, and then I couldn’t.”

She wants other students to know they’re not alone and they, too, can overcome.

The crisis kits, Hailey hopes, can help in that journey by offering love, support, and hope.

“Don’t give up on yourself,” Hailey urged. “Because you may be thinking, ‘I can’t do this, I can’t get through this,’ but the truth is, you can.”

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Syracuse High senior creates ‘crisis kits’ for students having hard time