Gunnison Valley Coalition hears about youth summit

Ten students from the Gunnison Valley attended a two-day state Youth Summit in Ephraim. Their shirts say “Mission: Prevention.” The group heard from speakers from all over the state and also enjoyed activities such as bowling, swimming and movies. Back row (L-R): Mattie Davis, Leticia Rodriguez, Mirea Dunne, Kree Hilton, Caitlin Watkins, Zaya Hilton, Kiya Hilton. Front: Tate Dunne, Alisa Liddiard, Sarah Liddiard and Jack Watkins.

GUNNISON—The Gunnison Valley Coalition meeting last week heard reports from a leader of the Mayfield Youth Town Council and a staff member at Gunnison Valley Hospital.

Mayor Sarah Liddiard of the Youth Town Council reported on a youth summit she and other Gunnison students attended. The summit, held in Ephraim, was designed to train youth on ways to help their classmates, especially those at risk for substances abuse and suicide.

“They taught us steps to take to make sure people feel loved and cared for,” Liddiard said. The group named themselves the “BOMB Squad.”  BOMB is an acronym for “bring out my best,” and their goal is to diffuse situations. The BOMB Squad is the former Hope Squad, updated, she explained.

The 10 Gunnison youth who attended the meeting set a goal to make Gunnison Valley High School feel more like home. Anti-bullying money will be used to redo the yearbook classroom and make it feel cozier. Mattie Davis, Sterling Scholar in art, will paint a mural.

On Fridays at the school, Liddiard plans to create entertaining videos and hand out candy bars to winners of game challenges.

“These activities are good to create a school culture,” said Yasmin Heywood, mental health specialist for South Sanpete School District.

In Mayfield, the youth mayor plans to stock the town hall with sporting equipment that can be checked out. Cash for these projects comes from grant, some from the Central Utah Health Department. Jana Kay Smith, from the department, said the grants support “pro-social behavior.”

“These youth are proud to be from here. They love it and want it to be better,” Central Utah Counseling Center employee Jenny Frey said of the Gunnison Valley youth who attended the summit.

Also at the meeting, the group heard Gunnison Valley Hospital news from administrative secretary Arien Nay. Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to rise, due to the new Delta strain, she said. People who have not yet receives the vaccine should do so to prevent new strains from breaking out that the vaccination cannot control.

Nay also said the hospital will soon open a pharmacy in Manti.

The hospital purchased Dwight Inouye’s office and named it “Mid Utah Family Medicine,” she said. Bryce Barton will take over the practice in 2022.

JoLyn Chappell, a local businesswoman, took time during the meeting to report on her training to be a facilitator of the “Nedley System.” The eight-week course, designed by Dr. Neil Nedley, has been proven to help with anxiety and depression. The course helps people overcome depression by making lifestyle changes in sleep patterns, eating, exercise and meditation.