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The pandemic has inspired many acts of generosity and kindness, including a teenager who took action to support other young adults at Cortez Integrated Healthcare.

Daphne Schiedel lives in Cortez with her mom, Tasha Schiedel, and attends the online school Connections Academy. She reached out to Axis Health System and said she would like to help young adults with mental health disorders as part of a school project.

“I’ve had mental health struggles since before I can remember. I’ve gone through medications, diagnosis and therapy,” said Daphne via email. “What truly turned my life around for the better though was changing my environment. Changing schools, opening up, making friends, surrounding myself with positivity.”

After coordinating with the Axis team, Daphne purchased items and put together gift bags that included: a teddy bear, journal and pen, reusable water bottle with water flavoring, chapstick, Play-doh, an information sheet on coping methods, word search book and a personal letter of encouragement from her.

Daphne delivered the gift bags to Cortez Integrated Healthcare on Dec. 14. She met with Clinic Manager Adonna Cole and staff members on the Child & Adolescent Therapist team (CHAT). The clinic staff praised Daphne for her contribution, and said that peer support is very meaningful to young patients who are seeking behavioral healthcare. A public gesture of support also helps reduce the stigma, making it OK to speak up and ask for help. People of all ages can call the 24/7 Axis 24/7 Care Line when they need immediate mental health support: 970.247.5245.

“If I can offer any positivity to others struggling, I want to,” said Daphne. “If I can improve anyone’s quality of life – if just for a moment – I want to.”

PHOTO: Daphne Schiedel, center, meets with Cortez Integrated Healthcare staff members and therapists Casie LaMunyon, left, and Jared Kellerman on Dec. 14 at the clinic in Cortez.