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Grammy winning artist Jewel visits Thaden School in Bentonville

Grammy award-winning artist Jewel spoke to Thaden School students about the importance of developing mental health tools to deal with the stresses of life.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Singer Jewel spoke with Bentonville students from the Thaden School about mental health and how to deal with stress. 

Students at the Thaden School in Bentonville got to hear music legend, jewel Thursday, April 21. She came to speak to the teens about mental health and of course sing some of her songs.  

“Music was a soundtrack to that journey for me,” said Jewel. 

Singer Jewel says many of her songs are about being happy, so she now speaks about the importance of developing mental health tools to deal with our stressful world. 

“Suicidal idealization, anxiety, depression are at all-time highs and yet we are the most advanced civilization in the history of humanity, but we are killing ourselves at alarming rates. So, I refuse to call this success. I refuse to call us advanced until we can figure out how to make sure people actually want to be alive,” she said. 

Jewel lived in her car as a teenager and then became homeless once it was stolen. Her curiosity about learning how to be happy and wondering if it was a learnable and teachable skill is what helped her overcome those obstacles. 

“Mental health is such an ambiguous obscure topic and so finding ways to communicate these concepts that are simple, that makes sense, that is understandable is really my passion. It puts my love of writing together with my love of mental health,” she said. 

Jewel has a youth foundation and charter school in Las Vegas where they work with at-risk youth and give them the mental health tools to find happiness.  

Thaden high school students got to submit questions to ask Jewel ahead of her visit today. Two juniors picked out which questions they thought were best to ask the singer today. Jayleen Almaraz was one of the students who got to ask Jewel questions. 

“I think it was very powerful to hear everything she’s been through. I think her as a strong woman in the music industry, I think that’s really meaningful of how she’s used her influence to help other kids that went through the same things she went through,” said Almaraz. 

Junior Anna Shields says jewel’s story was very inspiring and loved what she said about philosophy and mental health. 

“It was really a different perspective on the way that people live because we are so privileged, we have so much privilege being here and being around the people that we are, you forget that other people are living different lives than you,” said Shields. 

Jewel hopes the students walked away today knowing their happiness is their own and there is no reason someone shouldn’t be happy no matter what environment they are in. And that they can start to find doable steps to improve their mental health. 

Credit: KFSM

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