Thank you for visiting St Hilda’s earlier this year. Being young and enthusiastic and speaking from personal experience meant that you struck a chord with the girls you spoke to. The speech was informative and engaging and many girls stuck around wanted to speak to you about personal experiences and how you had made things clearer around depression and mental illness. Even now the girls talk about feeling depressed more openly and say that I am going to get some sun, go for a walk, exercise to put my mind in a happy place. Educating young people to openly to talk about depression and teaching them strategies to help deal with it is not a need it is a necessity. Thank you for help with the students of St Hilda’s, we would definitely love to have you back next year.
— Tim Crowe (Head of Senior School at St Hilda's)
Hey, I know this is an out of the blue message and you don’t know me at all, but you came to our school today Marymount, and gave our grade a talk about mental health, I’d just like to say it was a very inspirational talk and I am going to use the tips you gave us because I believe it will help. I have experienced depression, and related to what you were talking about. Your story brought a tear to my eye, but made me realise that mental health is a serious issue in our society to many people, so I would just like to say thankyou very much for your talk.
— Amelia (Student at Marymount College)
I am a registered psychologist who has worked with adolescents in an independent school for over ten years. I have now observed James speak to our Year 11 cohort two years in a row. He conveys a clear message to the students with regards to the importance of mental health and does this in a passionate and convincing manner. I especially like his focus on stress and how it can affect the body if experienced chronically and I think his explanation of the hunter gatherer way of living compared with our modern fast paced existence is impactful. He then provides his young audience with eight practical ways in which they can make lifestyle choices that support mental health. James is an engaging speaker because he is close in age to his audience but also because he is obviously very well-informed, has a charming personality, and speaks with authenticity. Both times he has spoken to this large group I have watched the captivated looks on the faces of our students. The spontaneous laughter they exude when James makes a light-hearted comment from time to time I think is testament to how enthralled they are with his presentation. I have no hesitation in recommending James as a worthwhile presenter to students in any school.
— Dr Lee-Ann Prideaux (Psychologist at Coomera Anglican College)
Hi there, I just wanted to let you know how life changing your talk was. James spoke to my school and since then I’ve helped my girlfriend recover from being re-diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder after suffering from depression for 2 years. It has helped me help her so much, the little changes have made the quality of her life so much higher. Thank you so so much for everything that you do.
— Student who wishes to remain anonymous
You came and spoke at my school on Thursday. It was very inspirational, and I really hope the 8 tips thingy works for me. I have a mild depression and anxiety. I also tend to get quite a lot of panic attacks in public. I just wanted to personally say thank you for the talk. I think it’s wonderful what you’re doing, going around and talking about these things. The talk you gave was pretty much a bit of an eye opener for me. I really appreciate it. Thank you!
— Georgia (Student at St Hilda's)
Just wanted to say I thought your words were really moving and inspired me to grasp my awareness of depression and apply it to not only myself but friends and family! Your information wasn’t just extremely helpful but your vision was so inspiring and I really appreciated you coming to speak to us! I’m sure I speak for many others when I say thank you!!
— Tayla (Student at Somerset College)