Collegiate institutions and sports organizations alike have increased the awareness and needs surrounding mental-health resources. As a part of this conversation, P.A.W. Journey intentionally creates opportunities for action and reflection regarding mental wellness of its scholar-athletes. Through Coach Swinney’s support of mental-health awareness and time allocation for stress management, Clemson football is able to afford its students resources for the recharge needed in any high-performance environment.
In the throws of fall camp, P.A.W. Journey partners with The Reserve at Lake Keowee, a community in Six Mile, SC, to host a Lake Day getaway for the students, staff and families. Whether it’s grilling out and taking poolside naps, or being more active with lake tubing or golf, this time is designated for the bonding and restoration of our program.
December is when most college students finish finals and head home for the holidays. However, collegiate athletes in-season often have sport-related requirements late into the month. When asked what kind of recharge our scholar-athletes wanted for this time, the answer was unanimous: a winter formal dance. As a part of ensuring a college experience, P.A.W. Journey happily obliged and has since created an annual event of fun.
In the fall of 2018, P.A.W. Journey instituted its first “Mental Health Wellness Challenge,” co-created by the ambassadors of the program. With an interactive checklist of various mental-health practices, each Clemson football student, as well as any follower of Clemson football’s social-media accounts, were called to perform a daily activity demonstrating the various ways anyone can recharge through mindful actions.