When Zac Clark starred on Tayshia Adam’s season of The Bachelorette, he spoke openly about his past struggles with addiction and other mental health issues. As seen in the clip below, Clark knows what it’s like to feel “hopeless” and “in a bad place.” (see below):
Zac Clark has been through a lot
As the winner of The Bachelorette season 16, Clark thought he and Adams had a bright future together. However, the couple didn’t make it. It has been reported that Adams was the one who broke up with Clark, but the couple are keeping a low profile on the details.
Many fans feared the breakup would result in Clark returning to the “dark place” he spoke of on The Bachelorette. However, Us Weekly reported in February 2022, “Despite all the ups and downs, Clark has managed to stay focused on his career and maintain his sobriety.”
Not only has Clark stayed focused and sober since the breakup, but he has used his suffering to help other people who are struggling with addiction and mental health issues. According to a May 24, 2022 Forbes article, Clark helped organize a college tour called “Keep Going” that took place between April 25 and April 30, 2022. The tour took place on the cusp of National Mental Health Awareness Month, which is in May.
Clark wants others to “move on” Check out this post on Instagram
The tour included Clark and other members of the Release Recovery Foundation, which he co-founded, traveling to college communities in six states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. On the second day of the tour, Clark visited his alma mater, York College of Pennsylvania, according to the university’s website.
Forbes states, “The goal of the tour was to increase awareness of various mental health and addiction issues among college students and the available mental health resources. Each tour stop began with Clark sharing his own perspectives and experiences with the students and community members in attendance, followed by a short run/walk with everyone.”
Clark interacted with many of the participants and got them to speak openly about the problems they were experiencing. Some of the most commonly raised issues were isolation, loneliness and feeling unattractive. The students also felt that they had nowhere to turn for help. That’s why tours like Keep Going are necessary, Clark told Forbes.
People need to feel comfortable asking for help. Clark explained that a lot of people think, “If you see a therapist, you’re not cool. You’re weak when you ask for help, when you talk about feelings.” Clark wants to change that perception because, as he told Forbes, getting help was “the greatest thing that ever happened to me.”
Keep Going was created in response to a so-called “mental health crisis,” according to Forbes. The article mentions a 2012 study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) “which found that 73% had experienced some type of mental health crisis while in college.” The full study can be read here.
The problems have only gotten worse since COVID-19. The pandemic has thrown the spotlight on the issue, but mental health issues have long been a problem on college campuses, reports Forbes.
Clark has fought for mental health awareness and recovery for years. His own recovery from drugs and depression “led him to co-found a New York-based addiction and mental health recovery program in 2017 with Justin Gurland called Release Recovery. That program has since spawned a 501(c)3 non-profit organization: the Release Recovery Foundation.” It is the foundation that sponsored the Keep Going tour that not only spread awareness but “also helped To raise money for a Release Recovery Foundation college scholarship fund to help students seeking treatment for recovery from addiction and mental health issues.” explains Forbes.