COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College chapter of student-athlete-run Hope Happens Here (HHH) has rolled out its schedule for Mental Health Awareness Week this week, which includes two speaking engagements and three Mental Health Awareness home events for Purple Knight Athletics teams.
On Wednesday, a select handful of Saint Michael's student-athletes will share their own mental health stories at 7 p.m. in the Saint Edmund's Hall Farrell Room. The following night, former University of New Haven track & field star Ivy Watts, who started Beautifully Simply You as a way to reduce the stigma around mental illness, speaks in the McCarthy Arts Center at 7 p.m., telling her own story about struggling with anxiety and depression.
Another special event will occur at the Saint Michael's Farm, behind Pomerleau Alumni Center and the Holcomb Observatory across Vermont 15, on Friday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Students who help run the farm and Bergeron Wellness Center staff will discuss how getting outdoors can be beneficial to mental health. Visitors are invited to take part in farm-related activities and paint pumpkins with positive mental-health messaging to be placed around campus. Cider and donuts will also be provided.
HHH will hold You Are Loved Day around its home venues on Saturday, when the organization will help spread mental health awareness while tabling and providing food at three home events. On Duffy Field, field hockey hosts New Haven at 12 p.m. before the men's soccer team opposes Bentley University at 3 p.m. Women's tennis takes on Le Moyne College at 12 p.m. for its Senior Day match on the SMC Tennis Courts. Teams will wear special warm-up T-shirts at their events, while HHH is holding 50/50 raffles that day. The free food is being provided thanks to funding from the Student Government Association and the Student Activities Office. Women's soccer, which is on the road on Saturday, is slated to host its Mental Health Awareness Game on Oct. 26 when it hosts Assumption College at 3 p.m.
Ten student-athletes comprise HHH's executive board for the 2019-20 school year, with women's ice hockey senior Arianna Boscia (Cranston, R.I./La Salle Academy), women's soccer senior Madeleine Morse (Brownsville, Vt./Windsor) and men's ice hockey junior Brandon Mitchell (North Scituate, R.I./Pomfret School) serving as chairs. Field hockey junior Hannah Wilmot (West Townsend, Mass./Saint Bernard's Central Catholic) and women's lacrosse junior Erik Mikson (Merrimac, Mass./Pentucket Regional) are charged with social media/marketing efforts, while baseball junior Alex Mendez (Fallon, Nev./Churchill County) and women's ice hockey junior Alyssa Cimino (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) are event coordinators. Women's basketball senior Taylor Miller (Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth) and men's ice hockey junior Ethan Hendrickson (Budd Lake, N.J./New Jersey Rockets) handle merchandising, while men's golf senior Matt Johnson (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) is the financial coordinator.
A group established in 2015-16 under the direction of Saint Michael's men's ice hockey alumni Danny Divis '17 and Justin McKenzie '17, HHH promotes mental health awareness and mental well-being among college students, in particular student-athletes, and various colleges have started their own chapters. The group has held awareness events the last four years, including at various athletic contests, and helped organize the Pie A Purple Knight fundraiser the past four springs. Visit here for more information.