Daily life can be overwhelming, especially for students who are struggling with some type of mental health. While sick days have been around for a long time, it does not really include time off for days where students may be feeling some strong emotions.
This is why Hailey Hardcastle began to advocate for mental health days. Where students could take a day for themselves to ensure they properly take care of their mental health. Hardcastle talks about how she grew up actively taking care of her mental health, due to being diagnosed with trauma-induced anxiety and clinical depression at a young age. This led Hardcastle to realize just how helpful mental health days were. She began advocating for students to learn how to take care of her mental health properly, including fighting for a bill which would allow students to take mental health days like sick days. Hardcastle was able to see just how beneficial a mental health day could be. Whether students are diagnosed with a mental illness or just needed a day to recollect.
In the year 2019, Hardcastle had many other teen activists alongside her and together they were able to pass this bill in the state of Oregon. They continue to protest for teen’s mental health rights, with now 12 states allowing student mental health days. Hardcastle continues to do great work and break the stigma around mental health.
Check out her TED Talk here:
Feature Image: Kenny Eliason, On Unsplash. Creative Commons