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    Where We Play: Nashville

    Redefining Mental Wellness for Athletes and Artists

    • January 28, 2024
    • The Fisher Center at Belmont University
    Michael Phelps headshot

    World Champion Swimmer
    Michael Phelps By Video

    Blessing Offor headshot

    Blessing Offor

    Allison Schmitt headshot

    World Champion Swimmer
    Allison Schmitt

    Drew Baldridge headshot

    Drew Baldridge

    Kevin Dyson headshot

    Former NFL Player
    Dr. Kevin Dyson

    Eric Decker headshot

    Former NFL Player
    Eric Decker

    Ben Zobrist headshot

    World Series MVP
    Ben Zobrist

    Altha Stewart headshot

    WNBA Medical Director
    Dr. Altha Stewart


    “Reaching the Top” with World Champion Swimmers and Mental Health Advocates Michael Phelps and Allison Schmitt

    Moderated by Dr. Altha Stewart, Former APA President and WNBA Medical Director

    Musical Performances and Chats with:

    • Blessing Offor
    • Britt Nicole
    • Drew Baldridge

    Get Moving with Chelsea Young, Stretch Yoga Breaks

    “Persevering Through Adversity & Overcoming Together" Panel Discussion

    • former Tennessee Titan Dr. Kevin Dyson
    • former NFL wide receiver Eric Decker
    • orthopedic surgeon Dr. Colin Looney
    • World Series MVP Ben Zobrist
    • student-athlete Sam Kirkpatrick

    Free Lunch

    “Performance Pressure Without Losing Yourself” Panel Discussion

    • World Series MVP Ben Zobrist
    • MLB’s Tony Kemp
    • sports psychology clinician Shannon Duffy
    • student-athlete Grace Litzinger

    The Performance Connection Between Music and Sports with Ashley Gorley and Ben Zobrist

    Meet music songwriting legend Ashley Gorley and hear about the performance pressure connection between music and sports.

    Mental Health Care Works Panel Discussion

    • Dr. Michelle Cochran, Tennessee Psychiatric Association
    • Dr. Julie Sutcliffe, Vanderbilt University sports & Performance Psychologist
    • Pike Williams from the Refuge Center for Counseling
    • Chad Karger from Porter's Call
    • Aleah Johnson from Meadows Behavioral Healthcare

    Where We Play: Nashville was a first-of-its-kind event where young adults and college students were able to uncover the real stories and struggles behind success in the highest levels of sport and entertainment. This groundbreaking event was designed for young adults who are passionate about their craft and mental well-being.

    About the Event

    Where We Play: Nashville was more than an event—it was a turning point. It was the first step towards creating a culture that values mental wellness for professional, collegiate, and young athletes and artists. Although many assume that athletes and performers do not struggle with their mental health, the opposite is often true. In fact, many experience burnout, stress related to coping with high expectations or coming back after an injury, negative relationships with social media, substance use, and difficulty prioritizing mental well-being.

    By convening professional athletes, like World Series MVP Ben Zobrist, and world-class entertainers like The Voice contestant, Blessing Offor, and award-winning country music writer Ashley Gorley, to share genuine and open experiences we are breaking down barriers and opening up a vulnerable conversation about the support, and resources these communities need access to.

    What Attendees Expected

    Expect real talk about the challenges we face—burnout, managing high expectations, the pressures of social media, and navigating life after an injury. This safe space isn't just about talking, but about learning from high-performing individuals who've been where they are. Athletes, entertainers, thought-leaders, and medical professionals will all reveal their paths, their struggles, and their triumphs. See the human side of mental health, even among the highest achievers.

    Who Attended?

    This event was tailored for college athletes, performing artists, coaches, counselors, performance directors, and anyone passionate about prioritizing mental wellness within these communities. Whether Whether they were seeking personal growth, professional insights, or tools to support others, this event welcomed all who wish to contribute to a culture of mental health awareness and support.

    Group of people speaking on stage at Where We Play: Nashville
    Person playing piano on stage at Where We Play: Nashville
    Three people speaking on stage at Where We Play: Nashville

    Mental Health Resources in Nashville

    University Counseling Centers

    Each university has a counseling center that offers free or low-cost counseling services. Contact your counseling center to learn more and get connected to care.

    Local Resources

    Further local mental health resources are available through our partners:


    Michael Phelps headshotWorld Champion Swimmer and Mental Health Advocate Michael Phelps By Video


    Blessing Offor headshotSinger/Songwriter Blessing Offor


    Allison Schmitt headshotWorld Champion and Mental Health Advocate Allison Schmitt


    Drew Baldridge headshotSinger/Songwriter Drew Baldridge


    Kevin Dyson headshotFormer NFL Player Kevin Dyson


    Eric Decker headshotFormer NFL Player Eric Decker


    Ben Zobrist headshotWorld Series MVP and APA Foundation Board Member Ben Zobrist


    Altha Stewart headshotFormer APA President and WNBA Medical Director Dr. Altha Stewart


    Michelle Cochran headshotDr. Michelle Cochran, Tennessee Psychiatric Association


    Shannon Duffy headshotSports Psychology Clinician Shannon Duffy


    Chad Karger headshotChad Karger, Co-Executive Director, Porter’s Call


    Tony Kemp headshotCurrent MLB Player Tony Kemp


    Sam KirkpatrickCurrent Student-Athlete Sam Kirkpatrick


    Sarah Kroger headshotSarah Kroger, Singer and Songwriter


    Aleah Johnson headshotAleah Johnson, Meadows Behavioral Healthcare


    Grace Litzinger headshotCurrent Student-Athlete Grace Litzinger


    Colin Looney headshotOrthopedic Surgeon Dr. Colin Looney


    Britt Nicole headshotSinger/Songwriter Britt Nicole


    Julie Sutcliffe headshotJulie Sutcliffe, Sports and Performance Psychologist, Vanderbilt University


    Pike Williams headshotPike Williams, Director of Leadership Development, Refuge Center for Counseling


    Chelsea Young headshotFitness Instructor and Lifestyle Influencer Chelsea Young


    Thank you to our Program Sponsors and Partners

    Champion Forward Logo
    Belmont University logo
    Athletes for Hope Logo
    EdCare Logo

    Contact Information

    Please contact [email protected] with any questions.