College student honored by Miravista for educating about mental health

HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – Western Massachusetts college student Izzy Hess was honored Tuesday morning by Miravista Behavioral Health Center with its “You Have Our Admiration” award.

Hess was honored for her work educating young children and their caregivers about the importance of mental health.

The 19-year-old rising sophomore is the author of “When I’m Worried,” a project influenced by her own experience with anxiety and emotional wellness and one she undertook to be among the 2023 Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts Gold Award. The award is Girl Scouting’s highest honor.

Hess devoted more than 180 hours on the picture book project, as well as reading and discussing it with youth and their parents.

“I feel like it is not talked about nearly enough, especially in young kids, so these are the things my therapist taught me when I started seeing her and I just thought they would be helpful if more kids could see them, then maybe they would have less of a hard time. It can also be very hard for parents to know what to do or say to help their children, so I thought maybe this could help them as well,” Hess explained.

She told Western Mass News that, right now, she’s focusing on her psychology degree, but would love to write more books in the future.

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