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Start a Student Detourist Chapter on Your Campus!

A “detour” is something we can all relate to.  It is not a diagnosis, an illness, an impairment, or a stigmatized label.  We all know what it’s like when life doesn’t go as we planned.  Let’s show the world that a “detour” is not a roadblock, but an opportunity in disguise. 

First:  What is a Detourist?

de·tourˈdēto͝or-noun1. a long or roundabout route taken to avoid something or to visit somewhere along the way.

Learn about Amy as a detourist here.

What are the goals of the Student Detourists Chapters?

Student Detourists are students in the community who have experienced a “detour” in life and now seek to help others navigate their own detours by encouraging an open channel of communication on campus.

Detourists strive to shift an entire college ethos in the direction of inclusion – partly to give courage and a sense of belonging to people who are struggling with all kinds of mental health or physical challenges, but also to help build a campus that gives everyone the kind of awareness and generosity of spirit that makes that world a better place.


What do Student Detourists do?

Detourists work to help other students navigate their own “detours” by promoting healthy coping skills, resiliency tools, and effective means of communication. Detourists increase awareness of the wellness resources available on campus and also work to bridge the gap between mental health services, campus life and academic areas.  Detourists help to get the conversation started about mental health.  Through our shared struggles and stories, we are stronger.


Do Student Detourists need wellness, psychology or mental health training/expertise?

No – the only requirement of Detourists is a willingness to bring the campus community together in the sharing of our own “detours”.  The more we travel our detours, the more we realize our detours are not “detours” at all.  Every path leads somewhere.  We just need to travel long enough to find that clearing.  Detourists help fellow students make it through to that clearing through encouragement, support, and opportunities to share their struggles and triumphs.


But is this still a health/wellness group? 

Not entirely.  Detourists certainly promote wellness on campus, but Student Detourists are primarily concerned with creating a sense of community on their campus.  Rather than designate a specific curriculum and requirement of the memebers, Detourists use their greatest asset – each member’s passion and uniqueness – to empower the campus.  Through creativity, expression, camaraderie and open communication, Student Detourists will educate the community on developing a resiliency toolbox based on skills they learn firsthand through the Detourist Curriculum.


What are the requirements in starting and joining a chapter?

A Detourist Group needs to be started by at least two individuals.  One of the leaders must have at least two years left in their studies.  Students do not have to have concentrations in specific areas, but must be willing to brainstorm in creative ways, try new things, and encourage communication on campus.


What is the Detourist Program? 

Upon starting a chapter, students will receive the Detourist Curriculum, based on the themes addressed Gutless & Grateful.  Every month the members will receive a new challenge to try for themselves and then integrate on campus.  They will also receive information on starting events promoting creativity, resiliency and effective detour-navigation skills.

The Detourist Program integrates the Eight Divisions of Wellness, incorporates various learning styles, and encourages the molding of a campus community ready to grow, learn, evolve and collectively thrive through our shared experience. 

What Skills Do Students Need to Navigate Their Detours?

These skills will be addressed in:

  • Student Detourist Monthly Curriculum
  • Detourist Event Planning Guide
  • Articles contributed by students for the Detourist Online Journal
  • Detourist Online Forum and Outreach Network
  • Detourist Promotional Video 

What is the Detourist Outreach Network?

Upon starting a chapter, students will be responsible for initiating the #LoveMyDetour movement, connecting them not only to the student body, but to chapters across the country.

Using the #LoveMyDetour hashtag on social media Student Detourists will encourage others to start sharing where their own “detours” have led them.  Think of this as the much-needed encouragement for a friend who may be struggling to cross that finish line.  

The more we share our detours and how we handle them, the more we empower others to handle traveling down their own paths.  Although our individual journeys may differ, the need to adjust to unexpected bumps in the roads is an essential skill for all students.

Chapters can chronicle their Detourists in:

  • Their own #LoveMyDetour Gallery
  • Their Why Not Wednesday Column
  • Creativity Play-shops in the Detourist Curriculum
  • Detourists Events
  • Learn how to share stories here
  • Detourist Instagram Challenge
  • See other ways students can integrate the #LoveMyDetour movement here

Campus-Wide Performance/Program Event

Finally, Student Detourists can bring the movement to campus through a campus-wide through Gutless & Grateful: a program combining mental health advocacy, sexual assault awareness, PTSD coping skills, and Detourist-Navigation Lessons in a dynamic musical theatre performance, keynote speech, and Q & A session involving a panel of wellness staff on campus.

bring gutless to campus

Learn more about Gutless & Grateful here.

Learn how students can bring Gutless & Grateful to campus here.

I turned my detour into the best trip ever.

See Amy’s full bio here.


Are you ready to start your Student Detourist Chapter? 

Contact Amy here for more information.

Together, we’re stronger.

If life's taken you down an unexpected path, you're a Detourist

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