38. The Upside To The Down Side

Things happen in life. How we process those “things” is everything. The hard part of being able to process things is not always having the tools to do so. On this cast I sit down with Jason Hopcus and we discuss life, mental health, stress, stigma, and how to approached uncomfortable conversation, and of course, connection. Jason is the Founder and President of The Connection Project,  “The mission of the Connection project is simple- to strengthen the connection to ourselves and others”. Jason has a wealth of experience in life with equal parts education and evolution. We talk about how really hard things are usually the things that define our respective journeys the most and how it is time to celebrate and share that recovery process. There is really only one way to get through anything and that is together- through connection. The Connection Project meets people where they are, reshaping how we (the community) think about and speak about “mental illness” and/or more comfortably digested, stress. Stress is often championed in our society as many of us wear it as a badge of honor. And given this forced slow down because of CV19, we all know a rebrand of thinking around stress is needed! 

The Connection Project focuses on four main pillars: Health (mental and physical),  job, money, and tribe, through four key elements: community conversation, aligned partnerships, resource tools, and then training and education. They want to immediately welcome people in and surround them with people like them, likely letting some of the initial boundaries about connecting on any topic, aside. We need The Connection Project more than ever in society and now that CV19 is here, it’s critical. Join our conversation and please check out The Connection Project if you feel like it sounds like a community that would be beneficial for you or anyone you know. Stay safe out there, we are all in this together!


Mental health and wellness. Community, connection, stigma, and worth, but uncomfortable conversation. The upsides to the downside. Breakdown and breakthrough. Celebrating the journey. Gratitude and strength. Humility and empathy. Graceful disruption. 

Jason C. Hopcus Bio 

In the effort to effect change, Jason Hopcus openly shares his personal story of the struggle with mental health. He battled his own king of hell to climb from the darkest semblance of human self- struggle. As a result, Jason fully acknowledges the amount of work it takes, how necessary it is to share each other’s journeys, and why we as a society need to move the needle towards unashamed conversation. Jason is a catalyst for a powerful, cultural shift because everyone, directly or indirectly, is affected by mental health. 

“The stigmas of mental health cannot be unraveled unless we begin to celebrate those who have pulled themselves back up… and then some. It’s time to acknowledge recovery success.” 

-Jason Hopcus, Founder of The Connection Project

Jason’s mission is to advance human connection by embracing the conversation of fighters; the folks whose journeys from black to light give hope to those that deserve a 2nd or even a 3rd chance to be the ambassadors of conversation. The present narrative about mental health is often perpetuated through sad, scary, or traumatic events, which typically overlook individuals who are simply struggling with functional life issues. The Connection Project takes a fresh approach by focusing on those who have turned their personal struggle around to champion for a community-driven cause. Through the raw focus on the individual, Jason nourishes honest conversation to birth a system of ‘next level’ social responsibility. 

Jason Hopcus is a motivator and catalyst for cultural change within organizations. He believes that connection to one’s self, one’s transparency, and one’s passion to connect, allows individuals to live a wholly authentic, full life. He creates systems of people working to deepen their relationships to their work, their play, and ultimately our world. He presently serves as non-profit President/CEO of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) of Arapahoe/Douglas Counties and is Founder of The Connection Project, a for-profit company.



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