Anonymous Wasatch High School kindness account inspires hundreds of students
In a world of cyberbullying, one Wasatch High School student is creating a safe place online for students to share their struggles.
“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” This quote by Barbara de Angelis was the very first post a Wasatch High School student made on the Instagram account @wasatch_kindness.
This student, we’ll call him John, wants to remain anonymous until graduation so we’ve changed his name.
The IG account John started over a year ago has more than 600 followers. “And I guess through that account, I also realized that there's more people struggling than I thought with mental health, and even just not knowing what to do with relationships or school or different circumstances that come up in their lives.”
John posts everything from lighthearted pick-me-ups, to learning to work hard, to resiliency to tackling more pervasive issues. He said he selects his topics based on what he sees in the news or what he hears from friends.
“I think a lot is anxiety, depression, so basically anything mental health-related, but then phones also play a big role," he said. "So there has been a decent amount of help with bullying that I've done. And then just anything that I guess is newer, like personal image and self-confidence is also really big. Also, dating and relationship advice is pretty fun to do.”
Every Sunday, John posts Insta stories for people to tag others they want to compliment or to share something for which they’re grateful. He said the app has an option for users to remain anonymous which has helped many feel comfortable enough to share more sensitive struggles.
“A person, for example, had something that they couldn't really tell many people just because they wanted to keep it private, but they trusted me," he said. "And so I just tried to help them the best way I could, and even just saying, ‘Hey, this will help.’ And then I've just checked up on them every few days, just to make sure that they're doing good with it as well.”
John has also enlisted the help of professional resources. He has referred a few students to the 988 suicide and crisis lifeline and encouraged others to reach out to the counselors at the high school. He said helping people helps him.
“It makes me happy," he said. "Some days, it's kind of hard to fall asleep, especially Sundays, because I really enjoyed that day’s interactions and it’s fun to just help people, even without them knowing.”
They may not know the faceless friend behind the keyboard kindness but, as the quote from Barbara de Angelis said, love and kindness bless the one who receives it “and blesses you, the giver.”