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Herriman Journal

All signs lead to good mental health support on Herriman's Trail of Hope

Oct 04, 2021 12:04PM ● By Jet Burnham

Signs with positive messages welcome community members to the Trail of Hope, a section of the Midas Creek Trail dedicated to uplifting others. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Blattman.)

By Jet Burnham | [email protected]

You Matter. You are loved. These are the messages local teens want to share with community members who walk the Midas Creek Trail. Students from Herriman High School’s Peer Leadership Team and Hope Squad petitioned the city council to install signs with positive messages and mental health resource information along the Trail of Hope, a half mile section of the Midas Creek Trail beginning just south of Herriman High School and ending south of Copper Mountain Middle School on Anthem Blvd.

“It's a pretty little trail that people can walk along and see these messages to make them feel good,” said Kathy Blattman, a HHS teacher who serves on the community committee in charge of the trail. “Hopefully it will be a place where they can go and feel contemplative, reflect on their lives and leave in a good mood.”

The Trail of Hope is not meant to be a memorial to those who’ve died by suicide, but a peaceful place to be buoyed up by positive messages.

“One of the messages that we adopted after that year that we had so many suicides was “You Matter,” Blattman said. “So we're putting that on one of the signs, “You matter,” just short messages that hopefully will make them realize how important they are.”

The Trail of Hope was named on Sept. 11, the culmination of a week of National Suicide Prevention Week activities which included lectures on resilience and mental health and an Alex Boye concert. It was held in conjunction with the 9/11 Day of Service in which students and community members helped clean up a section of the trail that had recently flooded.

HHS junior Brynn Waters, a member of the PLT, said the event had a good turnout.

“It was cool to see how many people came to support it--even in the rain,” she said.

The permanent signs have not been installed on the trail due to delays in approval and manufacturing, so the PLT and Hope Squad students were stationed all along the trail with posters they had decorated with uplifting messages.

“We knew we weren't going to have the actual physical finished sign ready by this date,” Blattman said. “And so that's why we involved the students to create their own signs along the trail to greet people.”

Students also painted rocks with positive graphics and messages and scattered them along the trail.

“If people walk along and they want a memento, they can pick up a rock and take it with them,” Blattman said.

PLT President Kami Mitchell was pleased with the support of the community, through donations, their participation and providing mental health and support resources at several booths set up at one end of the trail.

“Herriman has kind of had a sad history of suicide, and it's really nice to see everyone come together and just show their support for each other,” Mitchell said. “It helps you feel involved and know that you're not alone and that there are different resources for you.”

HHS students will be responsible for maintaining the trail, said PLT Advisor Jill Ames.

“We will be involved with the trail in the future by cleaning it once a quarter and also replacing the rocks throughout the year,” she said.

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