Headliners for Jan. 21 show are Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes and Valerie June; Proceeds will benefit the Hi, How Are You Project.
Music has the power to speak to our souls. The right lyrics and melodies can often access feelings that we may not be able to otherwise identify or articulate. So, it’s no surprise that 82% of college students turn to music as a top way to support their mental well-being.
That’s why American Campus Communities is excited to sponsor the Hi, How Are You Project’s (HHAYP) sixth annual Hi, How Are You Day concert, an event that highlights the bridge between music and mental health. Scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024, at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, the concert will feature Robin Pecknold, principal songwriter and vocalist of Fleet Foxes, and Grammy-nominated Valerie June. All proceeds will benefit HHAYP, a nonprofit named after the late singer-songwriter and visual artist Daniel Johnston with the mission of promoting mental health awareness via thoughtful media, events, and educational resources.
ACC & HHAYP: An Ongoing Partnership to Open Mental Health Dialogue
We’ve partnered with HHAYP since 2019 to make mental health a guiding tenet of our Residence Life program for residents at ACC communities nationwide. Our goal is to foster a culture of open dialogue and help break down the stigma associated with mental health issues among college students. Together with HHAYP, we developed and facilitated training programs that equip our community assistants and other staff to provide peer-to-peer mental health support to residents.
We complement this outreach with awareness events such as the annual Hi, How Are You Day on January 22. We’ll release details on this year’s on-campus celebration plans soon.
HHAYP’s work is only increasing in importance. College has always been a time of personal transition, but larger global trends are fueling a mental health crisis. As HHAYP’s new Executive Director Robert Sanchez says:
“Between the pandemic, the economy, social media, geopolitical tensions, mass shootings, the opioid crisis, and the environment – coupled with a lack of treatment resources – it’s sadly expected that members of Gen Z are much more likely to report experiencing negative emotions like stress, anxiety and loneliness. By providing young adults with tools to identify and mitigate/manage their negative feelings, we can reduce the number of times an ‘ember’ develops into a raging inferno, thus reducing the strain on our mental health professionals and improving the chances our children will lead healthier, happier lives."
In 2022, ACC and HHAYP expanded the reach and impact of our work by forming the College Student Mental Wellness Advocacy Coalition with other student housing industry leaders. The coalition works with global insights firm Ipsos to conduct the Thriving College Student Index—an annual, first-of-its-kind benchmark of college students’ mental health and wellness. The survey found students feel the following emotions “all of the time” or “often”:
Stressed Out: 70%
Having Trouble Concentrating: 52%
Tickets are on sale now! Get yours today from the Paramount Theatre.
Gina Cowart is American Campus Communities’ senior vice president of brand and marketing communications strategy and serves on the board of the Hi, How Are You Project.