2018 Rogers Scholar Amy Clark, third from left, donates $500 in proceeds from the sale of mental health awareness T-shirts to the Rockcastle County Regional Hospital’s Miracle Fund. Accepting the check are, from left, Courtney Kirby, Maria Weaver, Angie Adams, and Cali Pensol.

2018 Rogers Scholar Amy Clark of Rockcastle County is raising awareness for mental health issues through her Rogers Scholars community service project.

Clark, a graduate of The Center for Rural Development’s Rogers Scholars program and a senior at Rockcastle County High School, sold mental health awareness T-shirts and donated the proceeds to the Rockcastle County Regional Hospital’s Miracle Fund.

She raised $500 from the sale of 130 T-shirts. The money was earmarked to be used for mental health and behavioral health patients served by the hospital.

“Due to my passion and love for mental health and mental health care, this project meant a great deal to me,” said Clark, who plans to pursue a career as a mental health counselor. “The money is going to an amazing cause, and I know it will help so many patients with behavioral and mental health issues.”

One of Clark’s reasons for organizing the community service project was to raise awareness and break down the stereotypes and prejudice that result from misconceptions about mental illness.

“I want to bring awareness to, and end the stigma of, mental health issues,” Clark said. “Knowing that I made such a difference in my community brightens my heart.”

Jennifer Peavie, a supporter of the project, said, “Twenty years ago, no one would have worn a T-shirt about mental health awareness. It’s easier not to be aware, not to ask, not to know, but doing the right thing isn’t always easy. Living with mental illness can be lonely, because it’s something that people can’t see on the outside. It’s time to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness.”

Clark is the daughter of Tanya Parrett Clark of Broadhead and Steve Clark of Fort Collins, CO.