July 2010

Mental Health Advocate Hayley Winterberg, 16

Hayley Winterberg-2 Phoenix, Arizona's Hayley Winterberg, 16, is a mental health rock star. She created a program for youth ages 13-23 who have dealt with mental health disorders, substance use and/or foster care-related issues. It's called Magellan Youth Leaders Inspiring Future Empowerment (MY LIFE), and its goal is to improve mental health care in Arizona and across the country. This year, she won the mpower award from Mental Health America for her work encouraging youth to get help for and promote understanding of mental health conditions.

Very cool. We asked Hayley to sit and chat:

I Heart Daily: What inspired you to start MY LIFE?
Hayley Winterberg: I was diagnosed as bipolar at 12, and I found that there was no group that focused on youth who struggle with mental disorders. I wanted kids to know that they can be heard and they can have a voice. That they don’t have to just be stuck thinking, “Oh I’m crazy,” and having that self-stigma.

IHD: What do you hope MY LIFE does for the people in the group?
HW: We work on social skills, hope, inspiration, leadership skills, and much more. Many people start off their first meeting not knowing anyone or talking, couple meetings later they have friends and are speaking up and getting involved, and for most they eventually begin telling their stories and helping in our community presentations.

IHD: What changes do you hope to see come out of MY LIFE's efforts?
HW: We are the future. It's important to involve us in the decisions that are made about health policy, because they affect us. Eventually I would like to see groups like MY LIFE around the nation, so youth everywhere can get involved, make changes, and have their voices heard.

IHD: What does winning the mpower award mean for you/to you?
HW: I was shocked. I really didn't realize all the work I had done, and the changes that have been made because of MY LIFE. I am honored, but I know there is still more to do.

Love this girl. Check out a video about MY LIFE below, and find out how to get involved:

Super Cute Sun Hats

1sunhatI used to think that sun hats were for old people (mostly because my mom wore them). But I'm starting to form an affinity for them, as -- surprise, surprise -- they come in quite handy at the beach! I'm headed to the shore next week, and here are a few hats I'm considering taking with me, so I'm not Squinty McSquints A Lot. And guess what? They're all packable, which means you can smush them up, and they'll pop right back into shape!

Straw Sun Hat, L.L. Bean ($34, pictured). Here's a cute hat for all occasions -- on the beach or on-the-go. It's lightweight and made of raffia, and also comes in a deep pink color. 

Va Va Voom Sun Hat, Sun Grubbies ($38). Look like an Italian movie star in this super wide brimmed, black and white hat. This one will not only shade your face, but your shoulders too!

Columbia Straw Lifeguard Hat, REI ($20). A classic straw hat. Not only stylish, but functional: it has a terry cloth sweatband inside to wick away sweat. 

Packable Wide Brim Hat, Coolibar ($30). If you like floppy brims, this is a choice pick. With a UPF of 50 (Ultraviolet Protection Factor), you can sun safely with this atop your noggin.

Website Love: The Beauty Brains

Beautybrains "Get stronger, more luxurious hair in days!"
"Lashes that go on forever..."

"Lip gloss for the most kissable lips!"

These are all things that beauty companies claim their products do. Of course, grandiose exclamations about how _____ will change your life are part and parcel of advertising. How else would brands get us to choose their products? "Hey, this shampoo kind of smells good and won't sting"?

So, who can we really trust for the cold, hard facts? Answer: The Beauty Brains. They're a group of cosmetic scientists who understand how products are made, and what the ingredients do. Coming from a unbiased, scientific point-of-view, they tell the truth about shampoos, dyes, lipsticks and lotions. They discuss how long you really need to leave conditioner in your hair, whether more expensive makeup is better, and if the health warnings about talcum powder have merit.

The questions are answered from different perspectives: the Left Brain (very scientific), the Right Brain (the human interest side of science), and Sarah Bellum (focusing on the aesthetics of cosmetics).

The Beauty Brains
isn't going to try to sell you anything, which we love. It's just good ole information. On that note, I'm off to read about whether or not cayenne pepper is good for my scalp....

Indie Crafter Du Jour: Verabel

Peacock Even before I saw Verabel's vintage Tiniest Peacock Feather Locket ($22, pictured), I was in love with her affinity for "black & white photographs, floating the river in July, birds, and matinees on Sunday." Yes x 4. Those are a few of my favorite things. And her Etsy shop? It's also full of goodness. Por ejemplo:

Teeny Tiny Horse Stud Earrings, $15. With tons of prance in their step, these guys are small but proud.

Tiny Brass Scissors Necklace, $23. Sweet and sharp -- an excellent combination in friends and jewelry.

Mod Owl Locket, $25. Colorful, watchful and wise. This bird's a stunner. (Or buy the whole owl clan.)

PS-Check out our previous Indie Crafter Du Jour, Mary Andrews of Contrary, who makes perfect horoscope necklaces.

Hear(t) It: The Young Veins

Youngveins Remember that band Panic! At the Disco? The Fall Out Boy proteges, who Wrote Songs With Really Long Titles That Made No Sense? Well, they're still around, but two of the members, singer Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker, left the band last summer, moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, and formed a new group called The Young Veins.

Ross and Walker combined their songwriting talents to create Take a Vacation!, an album full of 11 tracks of concise, sunshiny gems, that harken back to the golden years of 60s pop when bands like The Kinks, Zombies and Byrds played over the AM radio. Take a Vacation! is an album about girls and love, being young and growing up -- lyrical escapes that tell of rebellion and musical vignettes about coming of age.

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