The Self Help Tour

Mental health care is not accessible to everyone. Historically, POC are not allowed to struggle with mental illness/psychopathology, which prevents POC families from talking about it. From a young age, we are taught that struggling with psychopathology was being lazy. For a handful of POC at Williams, this is the first time where they learn that they can struggle. For another handful, Williams is the place where they begin to struggle. Williams, being a place of higher education, is where people have access to sources like IWS, the Chaplains Office, and speakers who normalize having psychopathology. For these reasons, we need speakers like Kaleb Joseph, who are able to speak from experience and can speak to our experiences.

2-3:45 pm in the ’62 Center MainStage. Co-sponsored by GCBC & the Athletics Department.

Kaleb Joseph is a young man who is no stranger to adversity. He was raised in a dynamic household, one of eleven siblings and the only child between both parents. With the dysfunction this created, Kaleb turned to basketball as an escape, seeking approval and stability from coaches and his teammates, often leading to couch-surfing to attend practices and games. His hard work paid off when he received his first Division 1 scholarship offer as an eighth grader, eventually becoming one of the top 10 point guard recruits in the country.

Kaleb’s dream came true when he committed to play at Syracuse University. However, the reality was far different. As the projected college basketball freshman of the year, Kaleb faced intense pressure and expectations that proved to be overwhelming. Rather than being a source of joy and excitement, basketball became a source of anxiety and stress. He struggled to cope with the highs and lows of his elite career and began seeking other ways to escape. Unknowingly, he fell into the same pattern of generational trauma that marked his family’s history. Feeling responsible for breaking his family’s generational chains through his success, Kaleb became paralyzed by his anxiety to the point that he became afraid to show his face on campus after being named one of Sports Illustrated‘s top 10 most disappointing players after his freshman season.

When the pain of feeling like he let his family down became insufferable, he sought relief in unhealthy coping mechanisms, ultimately leading to an addiction that went unnoticed by everyone around him. Despite having a degree in Healthy Lifestyle Management and Emotional Intelligence, he was unable to acknowledge the issues in himself that he had been trying to prevent and heal in other athletes. After hitting rock bottom, Kaleb was aided by the help of two former NBA players in recovery who knew the struggles ahead in pursuit of turning his pain into purpose.

Knowing all too well that he is not alone in his experiences and struggles, Kaleb now travels across the country sharing his story. Through his Self Help Tour, he passionately helps teams and individual athletes develop the tools necessary to identify, process and manage their emotions. Through emotional intelligence workshops, life coaching, and coach consulting, Kaleb is helping athletes of all ages lean into vulnerability, build self-awareness, and cultivate a sense of identity that can carry them through all of life’s adversities both on and off the court.