We wrapped up our first week of this tour with the gorgeous and historic University of Virginia. We lucked out, too, as the rain cleared up JUST in time for us to set up outside and share the display with thousands of students as they walked through the lawn.
Students at UVA were curious about the display starting before we even got fully set up for the day—the moment we started unloading backpacks we had questions from several groups of students passing by on their way to their early morning classes about what was going on. One girl spoke with me for several minutes about the program. I explained what we were here for and encouraged her to come see everything once it was fully set up later in the morning. She said “Thanks for being here, this kind of stuff is really important. I’ll definitely come back.” Several hours later I saw her again—only this time she had brought a whole group of friends to come see the display as well. We always love seeing the cascading effect starting a conversation can have.
Throughout the rest of the day we were joined by some special guests such as Lauren Anderson from the Josh Anderson Foundation (who helped make this day of Send Silence Packing at UVA a possibility) and David Anderson of Survivor to Hero. David led some free yoga sessions for anyone that wished to participate, and it was a great example of a specific tool that you can use to stay mentally (and physically!) fit.
Everywhere we go we find tools that people have developed to handle their mental health in different ways. We hear so many varying things that people do—some people listen to certain songs, some people write or draw, some people use physical releases such as sports or plain old exercise. All of these are fantastic options, but the important part is finding the tools that work for you. Your mental health is just about as personal as you can get, so it’s crucial to find the right tools that fit for you. Tell us some of the ways that you stay mentally healthy—whether it’s something you do to keep ahead or something that helps you catch back up after you’re feeling down. We’ll share some of your tools in a future post and hopefully we can all learn some new tricks and learn a little more about our mental health.