Speaking Engagements - Carter Atchison

JED Foundation at Wofford College

The first photo is from a presentation in the Wofford Old Main Hall that was attended by around 100 students. I gave opening statements referencing my experience with my mental health and I introduced the other speakers.

The second photo is from the cookout that was planned to raise money for the JED Foundation. I spoke to the 150 attendees thanking our sponsors and reminding them of the purpose of the event.

JED Foundation event

The event was on November 13th from 11-12:30 and was attended by around 70 people. We had informational flyers from JED, a banner for students to sign, Shirts with sponsors on them, food, and an hour-long presentation on Mental Health. 

Highlights from the presentation: “it’s ok to not be ok, but it’s not ok to stay not ok” - a motto I try to live by. 

There have been three things that I have really tried to focus on to improve my mental state every day, they are:

  1. Be Busy with Passion
    -  Finding a reason to wake up every day even when you don’t want to. I made my passion for planning this event because I knew that if the event was going to be a success, I had to force myself to be me.


  2. Seeking Support - Family, Friends & sometimes even trained professionals
    - I had to realize that even though my close friends cared about me, they were not my therapists.
    - I had friends who supported me, but my ability to work with a counselor who could give me professional advice was essential for me working out some of my major issues.


  3. Exercise & Time for yourself
    - I had to force myself to work out and have enjoyed the results, physically and mentally.
    - I used to distract myself a lot at the beginning of my mental health issues, but as I allowed myself to work with my thoughts without distractions. I became more comfortable with myself and became my own best friend. I realized becoming my own best friend by spending time by yourself with no distractions was my biggest superpower.

    Conclusion to my presentation - I had a conversation with one of my close friends about sadness and I told him, “sadness is a waste of an emotion”, we argued back and forth, and he ultimately said, “I felt extreme sadness when my friend Seth passed away in high school, but that has brought so many people together, I remember standing there with my friends crying over his death and I know I am closer to those people because of that”. That statement has stuck with me for a while, and I realized while I am saddened by Seth’s death and my own struggles with mental health, I am closer to my friends, family and ultimately myself, because of the sadness I have experienced and I wouldn't trade that for the world.

SAE Executives Academy

Wofford’s Carter Atchison, Ethan Marshall, and Nathan Heinlein spoke to brothers from around the nation about marketing, recruiting, and building a brand at the Executive Academy in Chicago this weekend. The brothers highlighted their work with mental health awareness and suicide prevention, offering to share their model with other chapters.