Local Girl Scout Troop's Virtual Book Raises Mental Health Awareness in Kids

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Girl Scout Troop 8005 of McKinney has been hard at work the last few months.

Their work, a labor of love, hoping to help kids who are coping with the pandemic the best way they can.

“In the beginning of the pandemic, it was a very stressful time for all of us,” Angelina McCulloh said. “We were all stuck on our computers and iPads because we didn’t have anything to do. We were stuck in our houses and couldn’t see each other and couldn’t even play our sports.”

That isolation was real for adults, just like it was for kids.

Their Girl Scout leader, Pam McGregor, noticed that return to in-person meetings brought a little nervousness among the elementary school aged-group after they had spent so much time apart. They were all coping with months of stress, fear, grief and uncertainty. That sparked a conversation that turned into something good.

“The pandemic has only made things worse,” Marcy Melvin with Texas-based The Hackett Center said. “The truth is, children can only be resilient if they have the skills and the tools and a trusted, caring adult who can support them through really hard times.”

Melvin’s group is the regional arm of Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute. Their organization helped the Girl Scouts on their journey to do something good for other kids. They worked on a curriculum for the girls to learn about their mental health and the mental health of others. The importance of empathy and understanding how to cope with adversity in a healthy way.

“We decided to make a book. It started off with the idea to get people off computers. We wanted them to do mental and physical activities,” McColloh said. “In our book, we even have some breathing techniques and stuff like that to just help yourself calm down when you’re really stressed, mad or anxious.”

The 60-page, activity-based book called "No Tech Fun Book" is complete with illustrations from the girls, has now earned them the Bronze Award, which is the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can receive.

Nearly 5,000 Girl Scouts across Texas have earned the Okay to Say Mental Health patch, thanks to the curriculum these girls helped to create.

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