Virtual Programming: Brandon Marshall lends his celebrity - backed by commitment - to the record setting International OCD Foundation's virtual conference
The International OCD Foundation knew it could not skip its annual conference this year despite Covid restrictions, so they moved their 2 day conference online. Their community of caregivers, therapists, individuals and families needed to connect; prompting tweets from the community such as "Today is the first day of the virtual @IOCDF conference, and I have been looking forward to this for months. #OCDcon" and "Attending the community group for Therapists that have OCD was so great. It can feel isolating to have OCD and treat clients. Knowing there are others is so uplifting! #OCDCon" The pivot to virtual was a resounding success, leaving the IOCD Foundation to share: Over the weekend, 3,221 people from 48 countries attended the Online #OCDCon — a Conference record!
One highlight of the weekend was the 30 minute talk by BRANDON MARSHALL, NFL wide receiver and committed mental health advocate, discussing his own mental health issues in depth. He was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder at the height of his NFL career, leading him to found Project375 to promote awareness of mental health, end the stigma, and raise funding for treatment. He left his audience with specific advice and hope for those living with mental illness. There was lots of buzz after his session, for example this tweet by one virtual attendee: "It’s so impactful when professional athletes open up about their challenges with mental health. You’re not alone."
Virtual Programming: Incorporating a mental health component to your program is an important and timely addition. Combining it with star power draws a virtual crowd and keeps the discussion upbeat, with substantive storytelling to leave audiences feeling more connected, less alone, and hopeful.
More hosts are incorporating the topic of mental health into their programming, especially as Coronavirus has disrupted so many aspects of our lives at home, at work, and at play. Programs vary from light-hearted, interactive wellness breaks to head-on discussions about struggle and recovery. Combining the discussion with star power draws a virtual crowd and keeps the discussion upbeat, with substantive storytelling to leave audiences feeling more connected, less alone, and hopeful. Despite their public personas, many of our celebrity speakers openly share their vulnerabilities as a source of strength for others.
Wide receiver BRANDON MARSHALL shares his experience with borderline personality disorder and mental health advocacy; fan favorite RICKI LAKE speaks about loss, including her husband’s suicide; MARIA SHRIVER discusses overcoming family traumas; celebrity chef PADMA LAKSHMI shares her tips for mental health amid personal health struggles; former First Lady of Canada (and mom of the current President!) MARGARET TRUDEAU shares her struggle with bi-polar disorder; Emmy-winning talk show host TAMRON HALL discusses how her mental health was affected during her infertility struggles; megawatt superstar CHARLIZE THERON discusses her experiences with depression; power broker SCOOTER BRAUN and Football Hall of Famer TONY GONZALEZ recently shared in conversation about the importance of vulnerability; Army veteran, actor and survivor JR MARTINEZ speaks about healing physically, spiritually and mentally after his convoy was attacked in Iraq. Grief expert DAVID KESSLER literally wrote the book on processing loss, and speaks as both a grieving father of a lost child and a clinician. For powerful programs that make a difference, contact HWA to discuss incorporating a mental health component to your event.
Brandon Marshall is an American football wide receiver who played college football at the University of Central Florida and was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Brandon has also played for the Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, and New York Giants.
As the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of PROJECT 375, Brandon is passionately dedicated to his work in the mental health community. PROJECT 375 is a national non-profit dedicated to unlocking human potential through conversation, education, and inspiration. Brandon believes strongly that football is his platform and his work in the mental health community is his purpose in life. With suicide being the second leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24, he is dedicated to ensuring youth across the nation receive prevention and early intervention services.
Aside from his work with the foundation, Brandon is an active participant in other mental health organizations such as Child Mind Institute as an ambassador for the Healthy Brain Network. Brandon advocates for the NFL Life Line and McLean Hospital. He has also been a participant in the Senate Finance Committee in Washington, D.C., testifying about mental health issues in our health care system.