The Wayne Stater

Mental health panel shows students they’re not alone

Morgan Cardenas, Staff Writer

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A mental health panel was held Monday night to help raise awareness about mental health for student athletes. The event was hosted by the Student Athletic Advisory Committee in the Rice Auditorium.

“Mental health is really important for our student athletes as they go through a lot of things with their classes, practice and playing time,” said Muffin Morris, the head athletic trainer and liaison for SAAC. “They have a lot on their plate that they have to deal with.”

The panel consisted of Morris, two student athletes, and two professionals. Morris presented questions to the speakers and they responded to the best of their abilities.

“It’s just something to give back to the student and athletic body to make them aware that they’re not alone in a situation and they can find help,” said Cade Kalkowski, president of SAAC. “It helps get insight from someone who is a professional in the field or someone who has directly dealt with it.”

Some of the early questions dealt with where to find information about mental health, some early signs of it and how to cope with mental health problems. Linda Brummels informed the audience that the counseling center is open for anyone who is seeking help or information.

“I’m hoping that our student athletes realize that it’s okay to ask for help,” Morris said. “It maybe doesn’t always have to be a doctor but finding that one person they can talk to and trust.”

The two students answered questions on how they cope or maintain their mental health. One student said, he sticks to a routine everyday or talks with his fiancée about anxiety. The other said that writing helped her a lot and talking to her teammates made her feel better.

“A lot of times people keep it [mental illness] inside and they don’t tell anybody, so it keeps bottling up,” Kalkowski said. “Hopefully putting something like this on helps them come to a sense of mind to get help and tell somebody about it.”

One of the main things the professionals wanted everyone to understand is that mental illness isn’t something to just get over. People are born with it and deal with everything differently.

“I hope people can understand that they’re not alone,” Kalkowski said. “They’re not the only ones that struggle with something this serious and that there are very good options out there for them to get help.”

The function ended with the speakers giving last words. One student stressed how mental illness is not a joke and that it affects many people while the other student explained that an athlete’s mental health is more important than the sports they play.

 

Photos by Brianna Parsons

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Mental health panel shows students they’re not alone