Archie Messersmith-Bunting

Archie Messersmith-Bunting

Using dynamism and authenticity, Archie champions mental health awareness nationwide at universities and high schools. His vulnerability helps students rethink complicated and emotional topics like depression, suicide, alcohol, and drug addiction.

Using dynamism and authenticity, Archie champions mental health awareness nationwide at universities and high schools. His vulnerability helps students rethink complicated and emotional topics like depression, suicide, alcohol, and drug addiction.

Archie reaches students personally as he openly and honestly shares his own struggle with addiction and clinical depression. He weaves research of top therapists and addiction specialists into his storytelling, allowing audiences to understand and feel the potential for loss and pain. He guides attendees to a place of self-reflection, encouraging them to find balance and reclaim the power of the emotional baggage that often controls their lives.

Whether it’s a conversation at New Student Orientation about mental health or a student leader keynote about leading with purpose, Archie offers a vibrant mix of life lessons that leaves students inspired, empowered and ready to make authentic changes. Ultimately, helping re-frame the narrative that tough topics can and should be tackled together to overcome life’s deepest sorrows.

Archie attended Samford University for his Bachelor’s degree and received a Master’s of Science in College & Student Personnel Administration from Illinois State University.

PROGRAMS

It's Okay Not to Be Okay

Keynote | Workshop | Virtual

Depression is real. It’s not a hurt that you can simply make “go away,” and you can’t just “walk it off.” If you’ve ever suffered from it, or had a friend or family member who has, you know it can ravage a soul and leave a shell of a person. 

This program allows students to assess their own mental health and identify ways they can improve their daily self-care plan. Attendees learn to identify signs their friend, family member or classmate may be struggling. Participants discover action steps to encourage help-seeking behaviors while avoiding the less-than-helpful things often said to those struggling with depression.

If we want healthier students in our college communities, then together we must make mental health education a priority. 

It’s Okay Not to Be Okay is perfect for any student programming needs as Archie customizes the examples he uses for the student population in attendance. This program can be delivered virtually or in-person.

Ideal Audiences

  • Fraternity/Sorority Life
  • New Member Orientation
  • Mental Health & Wellness
  • Healthy Masculinity

Audience members will…

  • Review the most common mental health issues facing college students today and learn the symptoms of each one.

  • Identify non-verbal signs that a friend might need support. 

  • Evaluate their own self-care plan and brainstorm ways it could be improved.

  • Be empowered to engage in and encourage help-seeking behavior. 

Audience members will…

  • Define the difference between “mental health” and “mental illness”.

  • Review the two most common mental health challenges facing college students today: anxiety and depression.

  • Discover their beliefs and assumptions about “feelings”.

  • Identify practical steps they can take to begin to “lead with feelings”.

If Everyone is “Fine” - Then What’s Wrong With Me?

Keynote | Workshop | Virtual

Have you ever wondered how we became a society of “fine”? When did the “Feeling Train” get so far off the track? How did we all become conditioned to be “fine” 24-hours a day, 7-days a week and, more importantly, can we get the Train back on track?

The good news, the research suggests it’s possible. The even better news, it might not be as hard as we think.

This program will allow students to better understand both anxiety and depression and how those mental health challenges might show up in their friends and classmates. Attendees will then be led through a guided discovery period to identify their beliefs and assumptions about “feelings” and craft ways they can lead with feelings both in the classroom and in life.

Join Archie Messersmith-Bunting as we discuss the science behind your feelings, discover new ways to express what you’re feeling, and learn all important questions to ask when you are worried someone in your life might not be “fine”.

Ideal Audiences

  • Fraternity/Sorority Life
  • New Member Orientation
  • Mental Health & Wellness
  • Healthy Masculinity

Benzos, Blow, and Bourbon: An Honest Conversation

Keynote | Workshop | Virtual

In almost every college coming-of-age movie, beer pong, parties, and hangovers are common. For many, the big screen reflects our lived reality. 

A majority of students use alcohol and perhaps experiment with other drugs. It’s normal, right? While most will not find themselves in a hospital ICU with a drug overdose, most students will know someone who battles alcoholism or addiction. These battles are often fought alone, with many friends having difficulty confronting the dark nature of the disease. 

In this powerful program, Archie uses his own personal journey to show how easily partying turns problematic. Students learn how to spot warning signs in their peers. They will leave equipped with new tools to use when having vulnerable conversations with those struggling to find recovery.

If you’re looking for an authentic, no-punches-pulled program about alcohol and other drug prevention, then Benzos, Blow and Bourbon is a great program to utilize.

Ideal Audiences

  • Fraternity/Sorority Life
  • New Member Orientation
  • Mental Health & Wellness
  • Healthy Masculinity

Audience members will…

  • Gain a new perspective on alcohol and drug addiction and how it might impact themselves and those they call brother or sister.

  • Identify potential warning signs that someone they love may be struggling with alcohol or drug abuse.

  • Develop appropriate conversation starters to have with someone they fear is struggling with alcoholism or addiction.

Audience members will…

  • Inventory areas of their own life where disempowering beliefs are prevalent.

  • Identify the key scientific areas of mindfulness.

  • Be empowered to apply research based techniques to their daily lives.

Flip the Script on Your Disempowering Beliefs

Keynote | Workshop | Virtual

Have you ever heard the phrase “Change your mind, change your life” and thought – “Nah – that’s not for me! I’ll just work harder and make things happen!” But what if there was actual scientific truth to all this mindset conversation you’ve been hearing?

(Spoiler alert: there is!)

We hold beliefs about all things. Those beliefs have a direct influence over what we do or do not achieve. When we have empowering beliefs, our achievements can feel almost effortless. If we have self-limiting or disempowering beliefs, then it can often feel like we are pushing a big rock up a steep hill. And, as we’ve all likely experienced, we often stop pushing before we ever reach the top. Not because we can’t reach it, but because we believe that we can’t.

Let’s learn to harness the power of our mind and flip the script on our disempowering beliefs.

Ideal Audiences

  • Student Organization Leaders
  • Student Government
  • Graduate Students
  • Fraternity/Sorority Life
  • Student Affairs Staff Development
  • Resident Life

Leading During Turbulent Times

Keynote | Workshop | Virtual

Student leadership was never easy, but now there are unique challenges not covered in traditional transition binders. Sifting through the noise and leading with purpose is more important than ever.                                  

In this interactive and engaging program, student leaders receive a framework that allows them to refocus their most critical leadership priorities. Participants will also connect with students in similar leadership positions and brainstorm how they can lead with intentionality and purpose.

Audience members will…

  • Reexamine their current leadership priorities and identify areas they can refocus their time and attention.

  • Identify what is truly important in their councils, chapters, or clubs.

  • Understand a new leadership framework to allow them to be more intentional about where they put their time and how they lead.

Ideal Audiences

  • Student Organization Leaders
  • Club, Chapter, or Council officers 
  • Student Government
  • Residence Life