Family Fun Month

By Mindy Longhurst

August is the last month of summer, so it makes sense that August is also National Family Fun month! Here are some ideas for how to make the most of your time with your family before school starts again.

adorable-affection-child-1128317Watch a movie

Watching a movie can bring everyone closer and is fun! Try watching a new movie or watch a classic movie. Try to watch a movie that everyone enjoys.

Have a game night

Game nights are fun and allow for great communication between family members.

Plan a trip or vacation

Go on a quality vacation together. These memories will last a lifetime.

Have a staycation

Having a staycation is super fun! Explore places in your local area that you have never been to before.

adult-blond-board-298926Themed dinners

Have a week when different members of the family can choose a theme for dinner. You can do Italian night, Mexican night, pizza night etc. Have the kids even help plan the menu and help in the kitchen.

Attend a local show

Support the local community while having fun with your family.

Volunteer together

Volunteering helps people to feel good. When volunteering together there is a feeling of unity with one another. This will help your family to feel good and to help others along the way. Plus, volunteering is fun and is humbling.


Working on a puzzle together helps the brain to function better. The best part of a puzzle, besides seeing the final product, is being able to talk freely with the people you are working with.

Put the electronics away

Especially with teenagers, make some nights cell phone free where everyone can focus on just being together.

Laugh together

Laughter is a great stress reducer! Laughing together is great for your health and helps the family to feel closer.

Read a book together

Whether it be the scriptures or a novel, reading a book together helps the family to work together to complete the book. After reading the book each night, have everyone explain how they felt and what they liked about the book.

Overall, there are plenty of ways that you can spend the last month of summer together and enjoy National Family Fun month!


Vaccines Aren’t Just for Kids

By Mindy Longhurst

If you think vaccines are just for kids, you are wrong! Even adults need to get vaccines to make sure that they stay healthy. Below are vaccine suggestions based on age.


Flu Shot

All adults need to receive the flu shot annually. This will protect you and your family from getting sick and spreading it to others.


Adults needs to have the Tdap vaccine once in their lifetime. Most receive this vaccine as an adolescent, but if you did not get the Tdap vaccine then, make sure to do it now as an adult.

19-26 years old


The HPV vaccine helps adults to fight against certain cancers.


Shingles Vaccine

Those who are fifty and over have a much higher risk of getting shingles. If you ever had chicken pox, the shingles virus is inside you. Shingles is a very painful rash and skin irritation that is affected through the nervous system. The vaccine helps to prevent the shingles virus from becoming active. Talk with your doctor about how frequently you should receive the shingles vaccine.

Pneumococcal Vaccine

Especially those over the age of 65 should get this vaccine. This helps prevent diseases that affect the lungs and bloodstream.

Pregnant Women

Tdap Vaccine

Pregnant women should receive the Tdap vaccine between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. This vaccine helps you and the baby to prevent getting whopping cough.

Immigrants and Refugees

Immigrants and refugees need certain vaccines to be able to receive visas to stay in the country. This list can be found on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

The most important thing that you need to do is talk to your doctor about receiving shots. Your doctor will know your medical history and will know exactly what shots are needed for you to take. Consult with your doctor on what vaccines you need at your next appointment to keep you and the ones around you healthy.

For more information about vaccinations for adults, please visit



Vaccinations for Children and Teens

By Mindy Longhurst

Vaccinations are extremely important for children to be kept safe. Below is a list of shots that are recommended by age group from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.

7-8 years

  • Flu shot

9-10 years

  • Flu shot

11-12 years

  • Flu shot
  • Tdap shot (for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)
  • HPV vaccine
  • Meningococcal MenACWY

13-15 years

  • Flu shot

16-18 years

  • Flu shot
  • Booster shot at age 16 recommended for Meningococcal MenACWY

Some children under certain circumstances may need to receive more shots and vaccinations based on their health condition. At your child’s next check-up consult with their doctor to make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations.

For more information, please visit


Simplify Your Life

By Mindy Longhurst

Sometimes this crazy world can become overwhelming. Simplifying life is the key to feeling less overwhelmed and calmer. Below are some ways to simplify your life today.


Put electronics down

Putting electronics down and even turning them off can help simplify your life tremendously! Reducing the amount of time spent on social media, TV, phones and computers can help the mind to be able to calm down and focus. The time that you could have spent on electronics can now be used to simplify your life in other ways. President Nelson just recently challenged the youth to have a seven-day fast from social media. Try taking this challenge!


Taking a few minutes each day to meditate can help clear the mind. Clearing the mind helps your brain to be able to function better and helps reduce stress.

Write in a journal

Writing in a journal also helps to relieve stress. Writing can be therapeutic and can help to express your emotions and feelings.


Decluttering by reducing the amount of things in your house can help to simplify your life. Start with clearing out clothes or shoes you do not wear. Then focus on clearing out other things to help simplify your life. You will be surprised at how simplifying your closet and home can help to reduce the amount of stress in your life.


Organize your things

Organizing your things can also help to simplify your life. If everything is organized, it is easier and less stressful to find the things you are looking for.

Read a book

Reading a book is a great form of entertainment instead of using electronics. Reading also helps your mind to function better and to decrease stress.

Learn how to say no

Learning how to say “no” to people can be very difficult. But, sometimes when you say “yes” to everyone and everything you can become overwhelmed and over scheduled. This can make it difficult for your brain to rest and can cause stress. Simplify your life by only saying yes to things you really need to do. This will help to reduce stress and help you to have a more positive outlook on things.

Nursing Students Help Strengthen Youth at EFY as Counselors and Health Counselors

By Mindy Longhurst

EFY 1 Group PhotoImage of College of Nursing students during EFY. Left to right: Jane Goodfellow, Christina Smith, Janae Hancock, Shellie Anderson and Emily Henstrom.

Students from the nursing program help with EFY as counselors and health counselors.

The nursing program helps to prepare the students with certain qualifications to be able to become a health counselor. The responsibilities for the health counselors include at least a certification of an approved training program in practical nursing (i.e. CNA, MA, EMT, LPN or RN). Along with the certification of at least one year of work or college experience. In order to be a health counselor you must be 21 years of age or older. There are usually two to three health counselors at each session of EFY. There are about 750 to 2500 youth participants per session at EFY.

Especially for Youth (EFY) is a weeklong LDS religious camp for youth. Brigham Young University hosts these events. EFY is currently being held in 18 different states nationwide. Combined, the nursing student counselors have worked 14 different states.

The experiences that the youth and counselors receive while at EFY will be remembered for a lifetime. The experiences that they take with them will help the nursing students throughout their careers.

Below is an experience that each of the nursing students have had while at EFY this summer.

EFY 2 Jane GoodfellowAn image of nursing students as counselors. From left to right: Analisa Dawson, Jane Goodfellow and Janae Hancock. Image courtesy of Goodfellow.

Jane Goodfellow

Goodfellow applied to be a health counselor this year because she says, “It seemed like a good way to put my nursing skills into practice.” As a health counselor she likes being able to be “more independent on the judgement calls.” Goodfellow makes decisions every day for the needs of the participants.

Recently, Goodfellow had an amazing experience that really impacted her. On the first day of EFY, a participant became very ill. Goodfellow spent most of that night staying by her bedside and checking on her. The participant had to go home for a few days to get well but was able to return to the session. On Saturday morning, this participant was able to give Goodfellow a thank you card. She thanked Goodfellow for the wonderful care that Goodfellow had given her. The note also explained that the participant had originally decided to go into nursing until she had a bad experience with the poor lack of caring at a local hospital. This experience with Goodfellow showed her that nurses can be caring and it reignited her desire to become a nurse. Goodfellow says, “I had no idea she wanted to go into nursing or how much something as simple as staying up with her would be. It was a reminder of what it means to practice the Healer’s art and how important it is to uplift and heal our patients.”

EFY 3 McKinsey OwenImage of McKinsey Owen (middle front) and her company of youth during a week of EFY. Image courtesy of Owen.

McKinsey Owen

Owen first was introduced to the EFY program as a participant when she was a youth. Owen loved the lessons that she learned there about how much God loved her and how counselors believed in her. She wanted to give back from what she gained by participating as a counselor. Owen says, “Being a counselor has helped to increase my ability to love youth, have a greater ability to empathize, have less initial judgement and a greater desire to understand the circumstances of all people, an increased desire to serve, and more love for my Savior Jesus Christ.” Owen also believes that being a counselor will help in her future nursing career as an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner.

EFY 4 Emily HenstromA group of health counselors with Emily Henstrom (top right). Image courtesy of Henstrom.

Emily Henstrom

Henstrom is both a counselor and a health counselor. As a health counselor she loves being able to help the participants and being able to see them interacting a day after helping them. She loves how they are back to healthy and can have the fun and spiritual experiences they want at EFY. Henstrom says, “You take any improvement and you are happy with it, if you see an increase in their health you feel triumphed!”

Recently she had an experience with one participant that really touched her. There was a boy at one of the sessions that had been sick for a couple of days. During games night he still was not feeling great so he wanted to sit on the sidelines with Henstrom. Her co-counselor was at the hospital with a participant, so she was left alone to take care of 750 participants. Henstrom had to run water jugs all over to make sure the participants stayed hydrated outside. It was getting a little bit overwhelming and this boy, even though he wasn’t feeling well, still did what he could to help Henstrom.

He was eventually able to go back to his company and have a great experience at EFY. This participant later in the week texted to say that he was thankful to have Henstrom as his health counselor. This experience was exactly what she needed during a hard week.

EFY 5 Analisa DawsonImage of Janae Hancock and Analisa Dawson welcoming EFY participants. Image courtesy of Hancock.

Analisa Dawson

As a health counselor, Dawson is starting to learn the need for communication and empathy in nursing. She says, “You need to treat all participants like they are important because it matters to the patient.”

Recently, a participant was struggling and requested Dawson’s help. This participant needed to know that this was a safe space to share what she was going through. On the way there, Dawson prayed to be able to help the participant in a very empathetic and understanding way. Dawson’s focus was on making sure that this participant would have an enjoyable experience at EFY and know that it was a safe environment. The only way that this experience went as smooth as it did was by trying to take an empathetic approach. She took the time to listen and to understand where the participants and patients are coming from to gain trust and understanding.

EFY 6 Amy SutherlandImage of Amy Sutherland (left) and her health co-counselor Angie. Image courtesy of Sutherland.

Amy Sutherland

As a health counselor, Sutherland has practiced teamwork, leadership and organization skills. Sutherland says of her experience, “It is rewarding to work closely with the youth and staff by serving them and I feel blessed to use my training to help those around me. The youth that I interact with are often struggling with illness, injury or other health needs and I love seeing them smile and have fun after they’ve come to see me. There are a lot of opportunities for connection while helping people feel better.” These opportunities to connect and help others strengthens her desire to serve those around her.

EFY 7 Shellie AndersonImage of Shellie Anderson (front) and her company one week of EFY. Image courtesy of Anderson.

Shellie Anderson

Deciding to be a counselor for EFY was an easy decision for Anderson because she wanted to have testimony building experiences this summer. Anderson has grown to love each of the individual youth. She says, “I have been able to see their great potential and get to be their friend. I love seeing their testimony and confidence grow, and sharing my own testimony with those who are at such an impressionable age.”

EFY 8 Caitlin FerderberImage of Caitlin Ferderber (right) and Jessica Jensen.  Image courtesy of Ferderber.

Caitlin Ferderber

Recently, Ferderber had a powerful experience as a health counselor. A participant was having a severe anxiety attack during EFY. Ferderber and this participant and the participant’s counselor were in a room together trying to help him. She says, “Without the other boys in the company being told, they all gathered in the next room and were kneeling and praying for him. All of the boys came together to pray for this participant to get well. This showed me the importance of having compassion and relying on God to help and be there for others.”

EFY 9 Taylor Skippy TrippImage of Taylor “Skippy” Tripp (middle) with a group of youth. Image courtesy of Tripp.

Taylor “Skippy” Tripp

Tripp enjoys being a counselor and helping the youth. She says, “Everyone should be an EFY counselor!” This is an experience that will help her future nursing career. Tripp wants to receive a DNP in mental health to help youth who are struggling. EFY is an opportunity for her to learn how to better work with and help youth.

EFY 10 Christina SmithImage of Christina Smith (front and center) and the girls in her company a week at EFY. Image courtesy of Smith.

Christina Smith

Smith loves the unity of the youth and the ability that she has to love, uplift and support them. One of the best things that she has gained from this experience is the ability to have more charity for God’s children. This has allowed the Spirit to guide her and helped her to feel closer to the youth.

EFY 11 Hailey CoburnImage of Hailey Coburn with other EFY counselors. From the left, Hailey is the third one in the image. Image courtesy of Coburn.

Hailey Coburn

Coburn has been a counselor and health counselor for two years for EFY. During this time, she has tended to many participants. Coburn says, “I feel like it has been interesting to see how much the program really is inspired.” She believes that the program allows the youth to be able to share and grow their testimonies, especially at such a young age. EFY has also taught her to better understand how God works and cares for the youth of the Church. As Coburn prays for the Spirit to help her, she is able to be an instrument in the hands of God.

EFY 12 Hailey CluffImage of Hailey Cluff while at EFY. Image courtesy of Cluff.

Hailey Cluff

Hailey Cluff is working as an EFY counselor this summer and loves it! Even though EFY counselors help the youth, sometimes the counselors receive the most rewarding experiences. What touches her the most is the opportunity that she has to be able to help the youth, especially those who are struggling. Throughout these experiences, she realized that the Savior was the only one who could truly understand what the participants were going through. Cluff says, “All I can do is fulfill the promise I made when I was baptized to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. I can let them know that I am there and that it is okay if they are not okay. These moments are the reason we have a Savior.”

Throughout this summer, Cluff has also been reminded of the love that the Savior and Heavenly Father have for everyone. Cluff’s testimony of Heavenly Father has been strengthened, as she has been able to realize that He truly is aware of us and is always helping us on our own process of healing and growth. For this knowledge, she is extremely grateful for the opportunity to work as an EFY counselor this summer.


EFY is an amazing experience where the students of the College of Nursing at Brigham Young University have the opportunity to use their skills to be able to help others.

Dorothea Dix

By Mindy Longhurst


Dorothea Dix helped to reform the treatment of the mentally ill throughout the United States and in England.

Dorothea Dix grew up in a home with two younger siblings. Her father was a preacher while her mother struggled with depression. Because of this, from a young age, she helped raise her younger siblings. After traveling to England in 1836 at the age of 34, she came back with a desire to help the imprisoned and mentally ill.

When she came back from her trip, she started working at the East Cambridge prison. In the early 1800s, the mentally ill and imprisoned were all in the same imprisonment facility. Dorothea was appalled by the living conditions. These people were starved, abused and mistreated. Dorothea knew that she needed to do something. She felt like she was accountable to help those individuals. After writing a report about the conditions, she presented the report to Massachusetts legislature.

Soon after, changes were made to expand a state mental hospital. Throughout her career, she created similar changes in other states as well as in England.

During the Civil War, she helped the Union as the superintendent of women nurses. She fulfilled this role for two years before being sent home in 1863.

Even after the war, she continued to fight for social reform for the mentally ill. In her lifetime she did everything she could to help the lives of others.

For more information about the life of Dorothea Dix, please visit

Clara Barton

By Mindy Longhurst


Clara Barton was a nurse during the Civil War. Barton showed bravery and determination to help others. She would even go onto the battlefield to try to help the wounded. At these moments, Barton would be close to the frontline action of war. One time a bullet even went through a piece of her clothing and killed the man she was treating! Of this experience Barton later said, “A ball has passed between my body and the right arm which supported him, cutting through his chest from shoulder to shoulder. There was no more to be done for him and I left him to his rest. I have never mended that hole in my sleeve. I wonder if a soldier ever does mend a bullet hole in his coat?”

She dearly cared for these soldiers. She even created the Bureau of Records of Missing Men of the Armies of the United States. Whenever possible, she wrote down information about the soldiers. She would then try and contact this person’s loved ones to let them know of the soldier’s medical condition.

After her difficult experience of helping those who fought in the Civil War, she learned about the Red Cross in Switzerland. She knew that this was helping people and realized that this was needed in the United States. She rallied for this to be implemented in the United States and with some lobbying the American Red Cross was established with Barton at the head.

Barton worked throughout her life to try to help others who were in need. She is a great example of sacrifice, diligence and determination.

For more information about Clara Barton, please visit