Reach Out Initiative
Reach Out is a donor-funded initiative that aims to promote, encourage, and support healthy behaviors and decision-making for Berklee students. In keeping with Berklee’s mission to develop and nurture the professional and personal growth of our students, Reach Out assists in providing specific education, outreach, programming, and resources on:
- substance use and abuse;
- sexual assault and interpersonal violence and abuse; and
- mental health awareness.
About Reach Out
In 2012, due to the generosity of donors, the Reach Out initiative was established to address the issues of substance abuse, sexual violence, and mental health awareness. Reach Out not only echoes a call throughout the country for more education for college students on these topics, but also confronts historic challenges faced by many contemporary musicians.
Reach Out’s programs challenge stereotypes about what it means to be a creative, modern musician. One of the cornerstones of Reach Out’s efforts is bringing musicians together to share first-hand accounts of struggles with substance abuse, mental illness, and interpersonal violence, and making connections to the impact these issues have on the sustainability and success of one’s career in the music industry.
Reach Out Initiative Administration
The Reach Out Initiative is administered through the Office of Health and Wellness Programs. The initiative supports many of the programs, events, and outreach of the Office of Health and Wellness Programs as well as the Office of Counseling Services.
Reach Out's signature program is its visiting artist clinic series. Each semester, Reach Out invites well-known musicians to share their life experiences related to mental health, substance abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence. The aim of the clinics is to help students see the connection between healthy decision-making and career success and sustainability. Past artists have included Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, Todrick Hall, Amanda Palmer, Kelly Price, Big Freedia, Rocco Prestia, Ray Greene, Ethel Beatty Barnes, and Berklee faculty member Danny Morris. This series is produced by Leah Driscoll, director of Health and Wellness Programs, and Barbara Thomas, program associate for the Music Production and Engineering Department. To hear more about each of our visiting artists' stories, check out our Reach Out testimonials and videos page (login required).
How to Get Involved/Support
If you are interested in joining the Reach Out Initiative committee or if you have a program proposal, please contact Leah Driscoll, director of Health and Wellness Programs.
If you would like to make a financial contribution to support Reach Out’s efforts, please contact Institutional Advancement.