Too often we hear the stat that "1 in 5" people suffer with mental illness, and that we need to "Stop Stigmatizing" them - the affected. The makes mental health a binary topic when in reality, we all live on a mental health continuum - and our position on that continuum is constantly changing. In this workshop we'll learn about pop culture references and media conversations that continue to set the overall mental health movement backwards. We'll learn about new ways to position and talk about mental health in an inclusive way. Through vulnerable storytelling we'll see how this topic applies to everyone. And we'll learn about tools and resources that help us to better come together and communicate about our common mental health challenges and triumphs.
Eric Kussin is a magna cum laude grad of Cornell University and 20-year professional sports executive, who got his start at the NBA League Office. After five years with the League, he went the team business route and rose the ranks with the expansion Chicago Sky, Phoenix Suns. He then switched over to the NHL, working with the New Jersey Devils, & Florida Panthers. However, a debilitating mental health crisis stopped Eric’s career and life in its tracks for over two and a half years. After many failed treatment modalities, he was lucky enough to learn healing practices that enabled him to dig out of his abyss, and found a higher calling, launching a non-profit at the end of 2017 called, #SameHere - The Global Mental Health Movement. #SameHere’s Alliance is comprised of athletes and celebrities, along with media members, expert practitioners, advocates, and everyday heroes who’ve come together to make talking about mental health a common topic for “5 out of 5” of us. Their #SameHere Movement has swept across college campuses in the US from Cornell to USC, K-12’s, Corporate Offices from CNBC to United Rentals, Professional Sports Teams from the Golden State Warriors to the New York Mets, and military & first responder groups from the NYPD to the DOD in just over three years of programming. The Movement has recently begun to expand globally as well, with events in markets outside of the US. Eric hosts a podcast called “We’re All A Little ‘Crazy’” with NHL great Theo Fleury, and has launched an app called the: SameHere Scale to normalize emotional health monitoring & daily check-ins. To “keep his foot in sports,” Eric consults for a number of professional sports teams and leagues, guiding their ticket and sponsorship sales and retention efforts.