Bailee Walls: Passion that stands out

Head shot of BaileeBailee Walls wanted to be part of GreenHouse since first year, but she never had one passion that stood out. When the Health Studies student became a Don in residence, it became increasingly clear that mental health was that passion.

Moving into GreenHouse this summer, Bailee knew she wanted to take a proactive approach. “Often mental health programs respond to crises, but I wanted to address this before it becomes an issue.” As she worked with GreenHouse mentors, Bailee decided to focus on a younger population: children in kindergarten, grades one and two.

“When children are in a new environment for the first time, away from the routines of home, that’s often when they need to learn to cope. I want to help them be aware of their feelings to increase their emotional intelligence and mental health.”

Bailee is creating educational storybooks that begin with an emotion-provoking event and then show how the characters feel that emotion, its impact, and their coping skills. She hopes to create various books, each featuring a different emotion.

“Writing is something I do to take care of my own mental health,” says Bailee. “It has always been one of my goals to publish a book on mental health. It’s exciting to see this dream coming to life.”

Bailee has appreciated having mentors and peers right at GreenHouse.

“They have helped me look at my plans objectively and to develop skills. When I feel stressed, I can ask questions or ask for help.”

She adds, “We are at a crossroads with mental health. Many people are struggling without enough resources, so young people are saying we have to take it into our own hands. It can be daunting to take on a social venture, but it’s worth it when you know you are contributing to this important conversation.”