Who We Are: Walt’s Waltz is an Upstate South Carolina based non-profit organization with Regional and National reach. We strive to end the stigma that comes with mental health conditions through educational training. Additionally, we empower the establishment of safe spaces for open communications in the workplace, educational institutions, military, social settings; truly everywhere. Providing Clarity of the Severity of one’s depression and/or anxiety is a core principle of our program to help people comprehend the seriousness of these mental health conditions. Walt’s Waltz is working to liberate people who wrestle with anxiety and depression from stigma - whether societal, cultural, religious, or personal - that could lead to alienation and suicide.
Our Core Values: We are always honest, compassionate, accountable, responsive, and effective in our actions, communications, literature, media, public statements, press releases and the like.
Our Vision: Physical Health and Mental Health are viewed through the same lens of compassion and fair-mindedness which contributes to the empowerment and care of all of humanity.
Our Mission: Walt’s Waltz is a Compass and a Megaphone for Mental Health Services, Education, and Change.
Walt’s Waltz will work with experts in this field to determine the most effective manner to move humanity toward increased understanding of anxiety and depression through the following:
Stigma Free Communities
A Stigma Free Community is an environment where citizens, including those with mental health conditions, are vaulted, supported and safe and benefit from a reduction in stress, grief, and loss. Walt’s Waltz reduces the negative stigma surrounding mental health conditions by establishing safe spaces for open communications in the workplace, schools, social settings, truly everywhere.
● Clemson Open Studio Walt’s Waltz Film Documentary – production phase – promotional trailer debut October 15, 2020.
● The App - mental health screening tool - initiation phase.
● Clemon’s Non-Profit Marketing Course and Create-A-Thon Spring 2021- confirmed phase.
● The Blood Connection Center Blood Drive – August 22, 2020 - execution phase (ongoing).
● Walt’s Waltz Workshops and Mental Health First Aid Courses – planning phase.
● Collaboration with other Mental Health Nonprofits including hosting PsychU webinars on Mental Health Conditions - execution phase.
● Weekly Anxiety and Depression Support Group on Zoom - execution phase.
● Concert Benefit - More Chances to Dance - Sounds of Hope - Rescheduled for March 20, 2021 - planning phase.
Let’s stop dancing around mental health conversations.
Let’s step out of stigma 1, 2, 3.
Take your mental health temperature.
Our most recent article by Susan Crooks, Walt's Mom .https://readymag.com/u83569656/2175486/12/
Support either through sharing our website, volunteering, donating . . . will enable us to create the first Stigma Free Community in Upstate South Carolina, actually, the first in South Carolina.
Walt Crooks’ life was that of humble service. He chose to help those he met along his path, reducing their suffering in hopes to move humanity toward a more compassionate and fair-minded world. Walt died from treatment resistant anxiety and depression August 22, 2019. Two days after his death, Walt’s mom, Susan Crooks, and his brother Will created Walt's Waltz to save lives and to empower those living with a mental health condition. Walt’s Waltz partners with PsychU, USC Law Clinic, and also Clemson University’s Business Department, Clemson’s Small Business Development Center and Clemson’s Open Studios.
Walt was an ambassador for the Foundation for Critical Thinking. Together with his mom, they presented their unique theory of pairing mindfulness and critical thinking across the United States. Walt earned two degrees from Clemson and his mom earned her M. Ed. there. Walt taught Science and Technology as an adjunct teacher at Clemson. His dream was to earn his doctorate and teach at Clemson, but his anxiety kept him from simultaneously working and completing his studies. Walt was a middle school teacher and an administrator. He and his mom taught at the same school for nearly 10 years. When asked about working alongside his mom, Walt would laugh saying “teaching was our family business. Susan recalls Walt’s excitement when he showed off Clemson’s library saying, “Mom, look at all the books.” He then showed her his quiet study spot there. Susan admitted peeking into his STS Course and eavesdropping on more than one of his classes at Hardin Hall. Walt was a humble man. He was known for his brilliance and was referred to as the Renaissance Man and the Gentle Giant.
Walt worked tirelessly to find help with his anxiety and depression conditions. He tried medications, therapy, treatments, self-help books, diets, exercise , and kept a gratitude journal for 10 years. A genetic study revealed a faulty fight or flight reflex. When his anxiety would start, the fight or flight response would not readily subside. Through years of sleepless nights accompanied with increasing anxiety and depression, he began to lose hope as nothing seemed to help.
After Walt died, Susan could not see a way forward. Her son Will explained only two days after Walt's death that they will start a foundation that will save lives. “You know, Mom, save some starfish - if we save one person’s life.” This idea lit a path and within the week, Susan began making calls and sending emails requesting help. Through these communications, she found that everyone, yes, everyone she called either lost someone by suicide, or they themselves or a loved one was living with a mental health condition. Every call/email furthered her resolve that we were on the right track. USC Law Clinic and Clemson University helped and Walt’s Waltz quickly became a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit.
After long discussions and words from their eulogies, a friend and singer/songwriter Charlie Wiener wrote and recorded the song Walt’s Waltz. Susan requested the song be in 3/4 time because it was her son's favorite beat. Walt would say to her, "Listen Mom, can you hear it? 1, 2, 3 1, 2 , 3 . . ."
Walt was a unique gift to our world and especially to his loving wife, brother, mom, and dad. He helped everyone along his path. Walt hid his condition from nearly everyone. He could calm a room with his presence although his inner turmoil was intense. Walt wanted to live. We miss this beautiful soul and are driven to help others. Walt’s Waltz is a compass and a megaphone for mental health support, education and change. Our hand is outstretched, Will you join our dance?
With love and gratitude,
Walt’s Waltz Team
Who We Are: Walt’s Waltz is an Upstate South Carolina based non-profit organization with Regional and National reach. We strive to end the stigma that comes with mental health conditions through educational training. Additionally, we…