The Chicago Wolves, together with #SameHere Global Mental Health Movement founder Eric Kussin, continue to change the conversation about mental health in Chicago through Project Thrive.
After launching Project Thrive with six successful Zoom sessions from February to April, the Wolves and the #SameHere Global Mental Health Movement have created a new set of six Zoom sessions.
The new Zoom sessions get off to a stirring start at 7:30 pm. on Thursday, May 6, when former Pittsburgh Steelers center Chukky Okobi, a member of the Steelers’ Super Bowl XL championship squad, leads the session “We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know.” Since retiring from football, the engaging Okobi has joined the Screen Actors Guild and become a Master Practitioner in Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).
The other new Project Thrive sessions and dates also have been set:
2) Cause and Effects: Stress, Your Brain And Your Body (June 10)
3) Breathing: Why We May Be Doing It Wrong (June 17)
4) Productivity and Performance: Why We Need To Care About Mental Health In The Workplace (July 22)
5) What is Secondary And Vicarious Trauma And How It Affects Us (July 29)
6) Navigating The Young Mind (Aug. 12)
Project Thrive was created as a multi-faceted initiative designed to change the conversation about mental health in Chicago while providing opportunities for people everywhere to learn from national experts in integrative health. The Zoom sessions allow people to learn and process important new knowledge together.
Since the Wolves initiated Project Thrive early this year, several other professional sports organizations such as the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, the NHL’s Boston Bruins and MLS’ Houston Dynamo have consulted with Kussin and the Wolves as they create similar programs in their communities.
“Sharing vulnerabilities with a group forms a bond between you that can never be broken,” Kussin said.
Dr. Holly MacKenna, an Integrative Psychiatrist and #SameHere Psych Alliance member who led a Project Thrive Zoom session in March, described Project Thrive thusly: “Engaging in this is participating in a great form of self-care. Being a tribe and being present for one another, there’s so much value in that.”
Theo Fleury, a member of the #SameHere Celebrity Alliance of athletes and other high-profile individuals, recently spoke about the importance of sharing stories on the We’re All A Little “Crazy” Podcast: “I’d give up my Stanley Cup ring, my Olympic gold medal, just to change one person’s life. After telling my own story, I realized the real reason I was put on this earth was not to be a successful hockey player, but I was put here to be a healer and give people hope.”
The Wolves, Kussin and the #SameHere Pysch & Celebrity Alliance members who lead the sessions believe mental health affects us all and the more we feel it’s OK to speak about our mental health, the better we all will be.
Because mental wellness is complex and can vary greatly when dealing with daily routines, daily headlines and life challenges, #SameHere champions the idea of mental health being measured on a continuum as opposed to the conventional notion that you’re either mentally healthy or you aren’t. With this in mind, it is important to understand no one is in the minority; everyone’s in the majority. Instead of believing 1-in-5 people are dealing with mental health issues — a commonly cited statistic — it’s actually relevant for 5-in-5 people. In other words, Same Here.
Visit the comprehensive Project Thrive page on the Chicago Wolves website here, download the #SameHere Challenge Sign, and then share your challenge on social media along with how you thrive in order to spread the word, raise awareness, and make a difference.
In February, Project Thrive launched a series of Zoom sessions available for everyone. Each hour-long session was led by a national expert in integrative health, which is a 360-degree, patient-focused approach to health care and wellness. Session leaders engaged participants on topics such as sleep, connecting with nature, diet, physical movement and self-awareness/mindset and how they related to mental health and well-being. Participants learned tips and tools to incorporate new concepts into their daily lives.
The sessions are designed for easy learning that enable everyone to come away with a better understanding of how to manage their mental well-being. There’s a nominal $10 fee for each session to defray costs. To encourage people to join Project Thrive for multiple sessions, the Wolves are giving away one game-ticket voucher for each three sessions attended. All vouchers are good through the 2021-22 season. To register for one or more sessions, visit bit.ly/ WolvesProjectThrive. Space is limited.
For more information on Chukky Okobi’s Basic Instructions Mind Mastery, go to www.basicinstructions.com.