CHICAGO (October 11, 2018) –
A compelling day and evening of conversation on mental and emotional health made a lasting impact on Loyola University Chicago student-athletes when the school hosted a #SameHere Sit Down discussion last night at the Damen Student Center on the Lake Shore Campus. Loyola is one of 15 universities to be hosting the event this year.
Moderated by ESPN reporter Darren Rovell, the program included former Chicago Blackhawks player and Stanley Cup winner Daniel Carcillo as well as former sports executive Eric Kussin, among others.
The panel talked about their own battles and provided strategies on managing stress, anxiety and trauma with the goal to help normalize mental health conversations and encourage individuals to speak up about their own struggles and unite through the American Sign Language symbol for #SameHere.
"Events like this are important not only within our athletics department but also within the entire Loyola community," Loyola men's golfer Nick Welden
said. "We all need to be cognizant of mental illness and what it entails. This presentation, especially the speech by Daniel Carcillo, provided valuable insight into the experiences of another athlete. I'm thankful to Loyola for hosting this and am glad to have been a part of the event."
Each presenter described their own battles with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and having suicidal thoughts, sharing stories to stress the importance of using their voice to be advocates among their friends, teammates and peers. Several Loyola teams also met individually with Carcillo and Kussin throughout the day yesterday.
"The entire panel provided us with ways to take care of our mental health before it spirals out of control, which was incredibly helpful," said Amanda Cushen
, a member of the Loyola women's volleyball team. "It was inspiring to see such accomplished individuals be so vulnerable in front of us. Daniel was so real with us about his struggles and his story hit home and made us think more about the way we live our own lives as student-athletes. Eric stressed that everyone is affected by what life brings our way and that we share more commonalities than we can imagine. It was an incredible evening and I am so grateful that they took time to stop at Loyola and meet with us."