Darren Rovell had become a successful broadcaster and reporter, but he was looking for something more. Darren wanted to devote part of his time to an organization where he felt he could immediately impact lives. He found that in The We’re All A Little “Crazy” (WAALC) Global Mental Health Alliance (501c3) and its #SameHere Movement, which was founded by Eric Kussin, a former sports industry executive, who went through an awful period with PTSD, Anxiety and Depression. Once he healed, he leveraged his powerful professional network to assemble an all-star roster of high-achieving celebrity spokespersons who are open and honest about their own mental health battles. Athletes, Musicians, Artists and Media Talent share their own stories of struggle through face-to-face culture-changing “#SameHere” programs, in order to encourage community members to join them in solidarity against silence and stigma. Together, through their platforms and presence, they alter attitudes about mental well-being during their visits, thereby creating a safe space for sharing that is long-lasting. They believe mental health lives on a continuum and is a topic that should be of interest to us all. Everyone in life faces challenges, those challenges affect our mental health, hence #SameHere.
A couple months ago, Darren had the chance to emcee an event at Drexel and see the life changing that could be done. This fall, Darren, Eric, and members of their celebrity team including athletes and musicians will be visiting college campuses all over the country to change the culture surrounding mental health. Each visit they will be making will provide opportunities for candid and revealing conversations. Audience members will hear firsthand from the Celebrity Alliance members about the mental and emotional challenges they have encountered in their pursuit of excellence, along with a range of coping strategies they have developed in response.
This openness is delivered through individual conversations, panel discussion, and open dialogue between audience members and members of the Alliance. The result is a shift in culture that creates a “safe environment” on campus where it is readily apparent that everyone faces life challenges, and asking for help, getting that help, and finding success is not only possible, but seen as a sign of strength. This fundraiser is meant to help this organization make as many of these visits as possible this upcoming school year.
Darren is running this year’s Chicago Marathon (October 7, 2018) with a dual purpose — to challenge himself at the age of 40 to run 26.2 miles and to help raise money to be able to build face-to-face mental health sitdowns across the country.
Your money will also go towards similar #SameHere programming with K-12 schools, corporate offices, and veterans groups. It’s one thing to talk about mental health. It’s another thing to get vulnerable in live public settings and bond with audiences to open up dialogue. If you are looking to support a mental health initiative that can change the stigma and provide solutions once and for all. THIS IS IT.