Husson Student Athlete Advisory Committee Honors Mental Health

By Tyler Hewey

BANGOR, Maine – On Friday, February 1st, Husson men’s and women’s basketball hosted Northern Vermont University at Johnson for a conference doubleheader. While both teams won on the court; it was the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) that won off the court.

Husson SAAC supported the “Seize the Awkward” campaign by handing t-shirts at both games to fans who donated non-perishable items or cash. Non-perishable goods went to the Ronald McDonald House in Bangor and cash was donated to the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

“Seize the Awkward” is a campaign for college students to understand the importance to talk about mental health as well for students to talk about mental health with friends or counselors. By taking the awkward silence between two people and using that as a chance to reach out to a friend and start a conversation about how somebody is feeling is seizing the awkward.

76% of young adults will turn to a peer in a time of crisis for support which means friends can provide huge support during times in need.

“Mental Health is something that for a long time had a certain stigma about it, and it’s time that ends,” said Husson play-by-play announcer, Cole Hurlbert. “Tons of people are impacted by mental health problems every year, and in general, it’s something I think people should be more open about. The Husson initiative is a great campaign designed to get the conversation started.”

The other aspect of “Seize the Awkward” is suicide prevention as it is the second leading cause of death among young adults. For every youth suicide; it is estimated that 100-200 others attempt it.

Husson SAAC is a committee full of Husson student-athletes to provide insight to provide on the experience as well as offer input on rules and policies that affect the lives of student-athletes on campus.

“It’s not just the Seize the Awkward campaign though,” said Hurlbert. “Husson’s athletic department runs a plethora of similarly designed initiatives every year, all with a goal of giving back and helping the community.”

Husson Athletics has had so much success on the field as well as off the field in the community. The cross country and track and field teams have spent a lot of time volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House of Charities while Husson-SAAC has raised a lot of money for the RMHOC. Multiple basketball games during the season; Husson accepted non-perishable items as admission to the games and all the goods went to the RMHOC.

Husson men’s and women’s basketball continued the community service efforts by dedicating their final regular season home game on Friday, February 8th to raise awareness for breast cancer and Alzheimer. Husson SAAC handed out “Protect the Nest” t-shirts and donations for the shirts went to the RMHOC.

For students at Husson; there is the counseling service right on campus. The building is located between Bell hall and the Bike Center for Family Business and you can either walk-in or contact Colleen Owens to make an appointment at (207) 941-7184 or There is also a Counseling Service Canvas site that provides useful online modules helping students deal with stress and anxiety.

Husson counseling service stresses if you are experiencing an emergency then call the crisis line at (888) 568-1112 or go to the local emergency room for immediate assistance.

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