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Home » Prioritizing Mental Health in Schools: Hailey Hardcastle (Transcript)

Prioritizing Mental Health in Schools: Hailey Hardcastle (Transcript)

Hailey Hardcastle at TEDxSalem

Full text and summary of Hailey Hardcastle’s talk titled “Why You Should Take A Break: Prioritizing Mental Health in Schools” at TEDxSalem conference.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here:


Hailey Hardcastle:

When I was a kid, my mom and I made this deal. I was allowed to take three mental health rest days every semester as long as I continued to do well in school.

This was because I started my mental health journey when I was only six years old. I was always what my grade-school teachers would call “a worrier,” but later on we found out that I have trauma-induced anxiety and clinical depression.

This made growing up pretty hard. I was worried about a lot of things that other kids weren’t, and school got really overwhelming sometimes. This resulted in a lot of breakdowns, panic attacks — sometimes I was super productive, and other days I couldn’t get anything done.

This was all happening during a time when mental health wasn’t being talked about as much as it is now, especially youth mental health.

Some semesters I used all of those rest days to the fullest. Others, I didn’t need any at all. But the fact that they were always an option is what kept me a happy, healthy and successful student.

Now I’m using those skills that I learned as a kid to help other students with mental health challenges. I’m here today to offer you some insight into the world of teenage mental health: What’s going on, how did we get here and what can we do?

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