William & Mary will host the #SameHere Sit-Down College Campus Tour presented by mental health non-profit We're All A Little "Crazy" on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at Kaplan Arena. The event, which is scheduled for 8-10 p.m., is open to the W&M campus community, including students, faculty and staff.
The event will feature a panel consisting of ESPN’s Darren Rovell, national recording artist Luke James Shaffer, W&M Assistant Director of Health Promotion T. Davis, 15-year pro sports executive and founder of the #SameHere Movement Eric Kussin and NHL Stanley Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Theo Fleury. The night will feature face-to-face mental health programming, including first-hand accounts about the mental and emotional challenges encountered in the pursuit of excellence, along with a range of coping strategies.
The #SameHere Sit-Down Campus Tour brings celebrity personalities together with a community of students, athletes and musicians for an immersive experience of vulnerable, interactive stories, discussions and entertainment. The focus is to strengthen the way mental health is approached among campuses across the country, while also providing strategies on managing stress, anxiety and trauma for students and faculty. The event will also feature a live musical performance from Luke James Shaffer.
We're All A Little "Crazy" is a global mental health movement founded by former sports executive Eric Kussin alongside an alliance of athletes, celebrities, influencers and expert practitioners who are focusing on "normalizing" mental health conversations by speaking about their own battles and encouraging others to do the same – all united through the ASL symbol #SameHere, showcasing that everyone experiences their own battles and challenges as an inevitable part of life.
W&M was honored as one of 15 universities from across the country to be selected to host a #SameHere Sit-Down, produced by the Global Mental Health Alliance: We’re All A Little “Crazy.” In a collaborative effort between Tribe Athletics, through Sports Psychologist Deidre Connelly, and W&M Health & Wellness, with Associate Vice President Kelly Crace, the university was selected in June for the tour.
The Campus Tour has already visited Cornell (Sept. 12), Towson (Sept. 17) and West Chester (Sept. 19). It will continue at James Madison (Sept. 24) and Richmond (Sept. 25), before heading to Williamsburg. The tour wraps up at Michigan (Oct. 2), Indiana (Oct. 3), at the Chicago Marathon (Oct. 7), Northern Illinois (Oct. 9), Loyola Chicago (Oct. 10), Baylor, Denver, Long Beach State and USC.
For more info on how the campuses were selected and how schools, offices, athletic or veterans program can join the efforts, visit weareallalittlecrazy.org.
Both W&M and Tribe Athletics haven taken steps in their commitment to mental health through a number of activities on campus. Some of the university's recent activities include:
- In January 2018, William & Mary Athletics hosted nationally recognized speaker Derek Greenfield, who presented a half-day workshop for all coaches and staff, and a three-hour program attended by all student-athletes. While billed as an "inclusive excellence" program, the presentation was part of W&M’s current focus on mental health for student-athletes.
- The university opened the new Integrative Wellness Center in August, which is designed to shift the culture toward integrative wellness and flourishing. It houses the four departments of Health & Wellness (Health Promotion, Student Health, Counseling Center and Campus Recreation's wellness programs) and is home to the new Center for Mindfulness and Authentic Excellence (CMAX).
- Wellness Application courses for credit on campus began in the fall, including Yoga, Mindfulness, Tai Chi, Humans and Nature, Creativity and Wellness, Cycling and Wellness and Flourishing.
- The 2018 National Eating Disorders Awareness week included partnerships with "Smash the Scale" and external speakers, and saw its best response for EDAW. The W&M Men's Gymnastics' team annually hosts a NEDA awareness walk, which was noted as one of the best in the country.
- Beginning in 2017, the campus arranged for services of ProtoCall, added a psychiatrist on staff at the Counseling Center, and started offering "TribeRides," which gives students rides to off-campus counseling appointments, free access to "Silver Cloud," Kognito At Risk Training and Campus Connect mental health training for faculty/staff as well as Integrative Health Coaching.
- W&M Athletics hosted Chamique Holdsclaw in 2016 for one of the first screenings of "Mind Game." Her visit included presentations for athletes and the general student body as well as meetings with coaches and several teams.
- W&M's Division of Student Affairs was the recipient 2016 Williamsburg Health Foundation Award for its work to create an integrated, comprehensive system of wellness programs for students and all campus community members.
- The W&M Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) submitted an entry to the NCAA video contest themed around ending stigma around mental health. They wrote, acted and produced a video titled: "It's OK to not be OK," which has since been shared on campus and will be featured on the SAAC website and on the sports medicine site.
- W&M is a member of the Jeb Foundation's Campus Program, promoting student mental health and preventing suicides on college campuses. Prior to the Jed Campus Program, W&M was the recipient of the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant by SAMHSA.
- Additional efforts include the Authentic Excellence initiative, Healthy Campus 2020, Wellness Passport and "Exercise is Medicine."