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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Lake City High School: Cayden Stone’s experiences lead him to help create a school Mental Health Week

In an effort to break the stigma around talking about mental health, Lake City High School senior Cayden Stone created a week devoted to the topic at his school.  (Courtesy)
By Allie Noland For The Spokesman-Review

From the moment Cayden Stone walked through the doors of Lake City High School, he showed immense school spirit that would inspire his peers for the next four years.

Stone, Lake City’s Associated Student Body president, has made meaningful connections with students, teachers and staff throughout his time in high school.

“He’s always been a go-getter. He’s always had just the school spirit that you want to see from a freshman that you don’t always get to see. He was very active and very involved, very quickly. He adapted to the environment and got along with upperclassmen. He connected with everyone,” said Katalina Chacon, Stone’s school counselor.

Joining student council his sophomore year as a class representative opened Stone’s eyes up to the impact that he could have as a student leader, and this was the turning point in his leadership. Jacob Baker was the ASB president during Stone’s sophomore year and was a huge inspiration for him.

“(Baker) was probably one of the single biggest influences in my life,” Stone said. “He took me under his wing. He taught me so much about not only student council and leadership, but also having a good reputation for your school and treating people with respect.”

Stone said that in getting to fulfill the role as ASB president, it was very important to him to do more with mental health awareness at LCHS. Stone was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, OCD and depression. He said it was a struggle that allowed him to connect with people with similar experiences and inspired him to create a Mental Health Awareness Week at LCHS.

“He has been the definition of someone who has been able to weather a storm and rise strong. I am extremely proud that he’s able to make a positive out of something that was difficult to go through and just be able to help others,” said Leslie Misuik-Stone, Stone’s mother.

In creating the Mental Health Awareness Week, the goal was dedicated to raising awareness and breaking the stigma around talking about mental health. With Stone’s leadership, the LCHS ASB collaborated with Coeur d’Alene High School in the week leading up to their rivalry football game.

Community experts were brought into schools to talk about mental health and resources for students, and the two schools joined for a Mental Health Awareness Barbecue on game day. Stone said that hosting this week was the biggest accomplishment that he was most proud of.

Stone’s enthusiasm expands beyond the student council as well. Stone’s passions include politics, public service, history, sports, attending school events, being outside, hanging out with his friends and being a die-hard “Star Wars” fan.

“I love going out and watching our Lake City sporting teams and all of our performances that we have at school, whether it be band, cheer or drama,” Stone said. “I just enjoy getting to spend time with people and getting to see all the great things that students are doing here.”

Stone said he has so much love for his school, community and family. As he heads off to Boise State University to study political science in the fall, Stone looks back on his time at LCHS with appreciation and pride.

“Cayden is an outstanding leader that cares about his school, his classmates, the school culture and climate,” Chacon said. “I’ve just seen him grow from that rowdy freshman to this leader that others look up to with a very, very caring personality. He leads with integrity, from the heart.”