September 18, 2018

West Chester University Same Here event

ESPN’s Darren Rovell in Mental Health Forum at WCU

Darren Rovell enjoys visibility with sports fans and team personnel in his role as sports business analyst with ESPN. This fall, he’s using that visibility to raise awareness about the mental health of college students, especially athletes. He’ll be at West Chester University on Wednesday, Sept. 19, as one of four speakers in the “We’re All A Little Crazy” #SameHere Sit-Down College Tour.

WCU is one of only 15 universities nationwide chosen to host these interactive, immersive, uplifting dialogues, the focus of which is to enhance the way mental health is approached on university campuses and provide strategies on managing stress, anxiety, and trauma.

The other speakers coming to WCU are Imani McGee-Stafford, Atlanta Dream WNBA basketball player (center); singer/songwriter Luke James Shaffer, a former two-time American Idol top 50 contestant; and Eric Kussin, a former sports industry executive and the creator of “We’re All A Little Crazy (WAALC) Global Mental Health Alliance (501c3) and the #SameHere Movement. Each will share personal experiences and encourage young people who may be suffering in silence that there is strength in admitting vulnerability and intelligence in asking for and getting help.

Shaffer will also perform his recent release “We’re All a Little Crazy,” which reached the Top 50 on the iTunes singer/songwriter charts. A portion of the sales proceeds for this track go to the alliance.

Kussin founded the non-profit and movement to normalize the conversation around mental illnesses, especially for men, following his own two-plus-year struggle with depression and PTSD. With his industry connections, he has gathered an all-star roster of high-achievers — athletes, musicians, artists, and others — who candidly discuss their own mental health battles. He says, “We believe that every human being is affected by life’s inevitable traumas and losses. We cannot escape their impact, as they are an essential part of the human experience. … [but] we can help emancipate one another through mutual healing and acceptance. It serves us to be open and accepting of those who need our help, because we’re all members of one big community. We are all fighting not just to survive in this ‘crazy’ world, but to thrive.”

Kussin is using the American Sign Language symbol for “same here” as an identifier to connect supporters of the #SameHere Movement and to express solidarity in uniting to erase the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Wednesday’s free, student-oriented discussion begins at 7 p.m. in Sykes Student Union Theater at 110 W. Rosedale Avenue.