My name is Takari Tatum, and I am 10 years old and in the 5th grade at Varner elementary school. My target teacher, Ms. Mendenhall, asked us to do a community service project. I decide to do a project on mental health in honor of Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka, 2 of my favorite athletes who suffer from stress and anxiety and all the students suffering from mental health issues due to Covid. I saw how many of many classmates’ personality changed due to covid and being quarantined. I lost my grandfather last year and I saw how that stressed my family. Also, I lost my aunt to Covid, and I saw how that stressed my family, so I decided to make rubber band bracelets. Each person who wears my bracelet will be honoring mental health and knows that mental health matters. When you feel anxiety or stress just “Snap It.” Snapping your bracelet is a reminder to calm down and take a deep breath. So far, I have raised over $1200.00 for NAMI (National alliance for Mental Illness.) I was the captain of the virtual NAMI walk on October 9th . I have passed out over 5,000 bracelets across the country. My bracelets can be found in Georgia. South Carolina. North Carolina, Virginia, New York, Washington D.C. Massachusetts, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Florida, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. I am now a national spokesperson for NAMI, and I have been featured in two newsletters. I went to the Georgia State Capitol Building and gave out my bracelets to state representatives. I have truly been blessed to be able to spread the word on mental health. Mental health is real, and I would like to thank you for your support and giving me a way to share my story. I want people to know that they are not alone and there is plenty of help for everyone. You can talk to a teacher, a family member, a counselor, or a friend. Remember to Snap it. I am available to speak and or pass out stress bracelets at your church or function.
Takari at the Nami National photo shoot.