The student news site of Baldwin High School, est. 1999

The Bulldog Bulletin

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The student news site of Baldwin High School, est. 1999

The Bulldog Bulletin

The student news site of Baldwin High School, est. 1999

The Bulldog Bulletin

Special meaning, Special cause

BHS senior volunteers as heyHQ volunteer phone counselor

BHS senior Nora Prather has a very important role that is very meaningful to her.

Prather first heard about a volunteer opportunity with HeadQuarters Kansas through her involvement with the SPEAK club at Baldwin High School. BHS social worker Cydney Novotney told the group about HQ Kansas launching a teen based youth-to-youth peer support line for suicide prevention called heyHQ. It is an open safe place for teens 18 and under to talk and share things they don’t feel comfortable discussing with their friends or adults.

“I thought it would be a great opportunity to help people and give me experience that could help with my pursuit to become a therapist,” Prather said.

BHS teacher Kit Harris has known about Prather’s passion for this issue for many years.

“I feel like what Nora is doing is a very special thing,” he said. “She cares and has a huge heart. She does not want to see people struggling and suffering. I think if Nora feels like she has helped at least one person, that has all been worth her time she has devoted to this. Nora is an amazing young lady and is about as caring of a kid as I’ve ever known.”

BHS counselor Cydney Novotney also admires what Prather is doing,

“Nora has taken on the responsibility to train and become a teen counselor for the youth support line, helping other teens across the state who may be struggling with their mental health,” she said.

Novotney said Prather has used her training through Headquarters Kansas to educate BHS students on how they can help a friend in need, and she took the time to talk to every seminar class (no small feat). We are so incredibly proud to have her as a Baldwin Bulldog.

HeyHQ program coordinator Bailey Wilson appreciates Prather’s compassion.

“Nora has been a wonderful member of our inaugural group of heyHQ volunteer counselors,” Wilson said. “She compassionately supports others and uses her knowledge to educate peers about youth mental health.”



Why are you so passionate about doing this?

“My passion for mental health began after one of my teammates committed suicide my freshman year. I used learning about mental health as a way to cope and I soon became very interested in helping people in their mental health struggles,” Prather said.

What were some of the requirements for this job?

“To be able to become a volunteer I had to fill out an application then, once that was accepted, I had an interview with some of the supervisors and trainers at HQ Kansas. Volunteers also have to be 14 years old through 17 years old,” Prather said.

What was the training like?

“The training had a lot of components that included discussions, reading and comprehension, videos, lectures, and role plays. The training was very laid back and left a lot of room for questions and group-think opportunities,” Prather said.

What would you recommend to someone that would want to do this job?

“I would encourage anyone that is interested in mental health or helping others to volunteer at heyHQ. It is such a great environment and a great jumping off point for those who want to have a career in the mental health or Psychology field,” Prather said.