We’re All A Little “Crazy” is a 501c3 founded by 15-year professional sports executive, Eric Kussin, bringing together Athletes, Celebrities, and Expert Practitioners. After a successful career that started at the NBA League Office, and led to senior management positions with a number of professional sports teams, Eric’s mental health took a sudden and rapid decline.
Due to unresolved personal life traumas he failed to appropriately address at a younger age – life experiences he was unaware were affecting his mental health – Eric developed a severe bout of PTSD, along with symptoms of anxiety and depression. This fall came essentially “out of nowhere” and left him almost permanently in bed, and with severe cognitive impairment, for just over two and a half years. Once he found a way to climb out of his abyss, he vowed to spend the rest of his life focused on changing the global conversation through mental health advocacy.
During his battle, Eric was pumped with over 50 combinations of psychotropic drugs, 22 sessions of TMS therapy, and 12 sessions of ECT “shock therapy“ only to find himself worse off with each passing treatment.
It wasn’t until he met practitioners who taught him methods to actually heal his body and central nervous system, that he began to improve and get his life back. He is determined to spread his message: that EVERYONE in the world is affected by life’s inevitable traumas and stresses. We can’t escape them, as they are part of the human experience and they impact us on many levels. Mental health exists on a continuum, with some simply experiencing more severe declines than others over varying periods of time in their lives (and/or being more genetically predisposed to such declines). Because of this, his view is that we should all be open and accepting of those who need help, because we’re one community in this “crazy” world, all fighting our own unique, but often similar, battles. Click here to listen to the first podcast Eric taped about all of the challenges he endured. You will hear about the events which led to forming the vision for this Movement.
The Alliance is working with a number of Emmy award-winning producers, currently filming a documentary about its global mission to normalize the mental health conversation. Members of the Celebrity Alliance, world-renowned doctors and researchers, as well as everyday heroes will be featured. View the highlight reel from the organization’s launch event:
A big fan of marketing, psychology, and sport, Eric combined all three and began reaching out to his contacts to discuss how they could attack the mental health epidemic strategically and differently than had ever been done before. He had to bring purpose to his own experience and believed he must have gone through that horrific period for a reason. With suicides at a 30-year high, and drug/opioid abuse out of control, he knows something major must change with the messaging if we’re to reverse these negative trends. He was overwhelmed by the positive responses he received from athletes, celebrities, and practitioners all over the globe, wanting to join in, all of whom bought into his vision of bringing a louder voice to this cause through a Global Alliance under a singular, bold but inclusive brand message: #SameHere (mental health lives on a continuum and we are ALL impacted…we ALL have a story).
The members of The Alliance believe that life experiences, physical traumas, genetics, and other factors make it so that everyone’s mental health is affected in some form or another, at varying levels – and that we must move away from classifying people as either “sick” or “not.” The Members are determined to use their individual brands, but collective platforms, and now consistent #SameHere message, to open up the world to this “everyone affected” concept, and make it socially acceptable amongst friends, family, and coworkers to talk freely about our mental health concerns and battles, and to applaud those who share those concerns and ask for help. There is no doubt that this is a massive undertaking, attacking a societal epidemic where a lot must change, but together they believe they can have a major impact on the way that the world views mental health – and arm those who need help, with the best treatments available from which to choose. The Alliance’s Initiatives will focus on educational and prevention/intervention programs customized for three broad groups in the global community: 1) students of all ages, k-12 and college, 2) corporate office employees, and, 3) veterans. Learn more about their programs.
The charter Celebrity Alliance launched with a formal rally with over 300 supporters in attendance on November 14th, 2017, in New York City. There, The Alliance introduced their “#SameHere” Movement, uniting the world through one ASL sign language hand gesture (you see depicted in their logos and profile pictures) that communicates – no matter where we live, or what our background or our accolades, we all go through life’s inevitable challenges, and we should have a society where it is openly acceptable to talk about those challenges, thus: “#SameHere!” Video. Find out more about the origin story which led to The Alliance’s usage of #SameHere.
The Alliance Members have each shared their own #SameHere Hero stories on this site, in the hopes of encouraging other celebrities and influencers to join them in partnership, and for all of you to share your story on this site, with the growing #SameHere global community. The stories shared by the Members of the Celeb Alliance are incredibly open and transparent: verbal abuse to sexual abuse, losing purpose after a career to becoming less balanced when you focus for so long on one goal, even inherited predispositions for disorders. Their stories are microcosms of what everyday members of society face and they aren’t immune just because they’ve achieved great success elsewhere. The things that tie us all together are the challenges that life throws at us and the battle to keep mentally healthy through whatever those challenges may be. Eric thought about what helped him, as well as The Alliance Members get healthy, and worked with the Expert Practitioners to coin the term “STARR Exercises” or “Stress & Trauma, Active Release & Rewiring.” These Exercises enable us to begin, and then continue to build on, active exercises (a list of them, that constitutes a “gym for the brain”) that help us heal from mental health complications. Learn more about the exercises that might work best for you.
A Personal Note From Eric
“I learned a number of important things as I arose from my severe mental health battle and was contacted by people all over the world looking for help. I learned that the term “mental illness” further exacerbates the stigma, creating an “us” vs. “them” message, as if those w poor mental health are different than people in the rest of society beyond just what they are struggling with. I don’t deny that mental illness exists and that many are proud of the illnesses they’ve fought or continue to fight. However, to the masses suffering and not getting treatment, I consistently heard that this term drives people away from asking for help, because they are concerned with being categorized in such a way. We can be more inclusive with our messaging. I learned that no one is immune and that suffering from poor mental health doesn’t make you “weak.” In fact, the exact opposite is true. Those battling are some of the strongest people I have ever gotten to know. I learned that when your mental health takes a nose-dive, you feel entirely alone, despite there being millions and millions of people out there just like you. And finally, I learned that when a specific medicine or cocktail doesn’t work for you, there are very few places to turn to find a comprehensive list of other treatment options, backed by science. It’s like you have to go on a wild goose chase, while you are at your weakest, and you don’t know who or what to believe. We are confident that reviewing the STARR Exercises and the #SameHere Psych Directory will provide you with some much-needed options to choose from, all in one spot. Viewing a list of practices that have been shown to work after years of research, should give you some comfort that there are treatment modalities out there for you to get healthier. It should also give you some direction as to the types of practitioners with specific sets of expertise, you can look for in your area.
The lack of resources to address the mental health and well-being of our global community is staggering. These battles are all around us and affect us all to some degree, on every continent, in every neighborhood; yet people continue to go untreated, ignored, over-prescribed, and worst of all, silent. I believe we all deserve better. The truth is, with respect to mental health and complications, we’re all in this together, and unfortunately, this epidemic is growing because of an erroneous social climate where it’s still taboo to open up, share, and ask for help when you are suffering on any level. Why is it more important instead of supporting one another in our common struggles, to project this public image of the “white picket fence” to friends, neighbors, and on social media?
My goal is simple: to build and provide important resources and programming, as well as to support The Alliance Members already doing great things with their own initiatives, all resulting in a well-educated and more accepting global community. We plan to use bold messaging that changes how we all think about mental health, the term “mental illness,” and the best practices available to heal and prosper. Please continue to check our blog and #SameHere Hero Stories, as we will have new content posted on a daily basis.
Our Alliance is asking YOU: other celebrities, other influencers, and everyday people, to join our community that is determined to band together to change the global discussion by sharing the #SameHeremessage of inclusion. This is a grassroots initiative and we want you on board as teammates on this mission. We’re always looking for Advocates for our #SameHere Advocacy Alliance as well. We are not alone, and the sooner we speak up and accept and celebrate that our life experiences make us ALL a little “crazy,” the sooner we will change the world for the better!
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Read the first social media post where Eric shared his personal battle, publicly, simply in the hopes of helping others. The reactions to this post and the understanding of how large this epidemic is, led him to form this Alliance and Movement. Read the full story here.