When it comes to college athletes we tend to overlook the fact that who these athletes are as individuals and what they are going through off the field, play an intricate role in how they perform on the field. We treat these athletes through a tunneled perspective, where we view and define their story and who they are as individuals, solely on their athletic performance. This idea has been greatly neglected, and as a result, we look past the prevalence of mental health related issues among college athletes. We view college athletes as two separate entities and, as such, we give them two separate identities; almost as if to say who they are in-between the white lines, are separate from who they are off the field. As a result, we tend to only want to help these athletes through a means that only aims solely to help them perform better on the field.
The college sports domain has maintained this stigma that forces college athletes to silence mental health related issues they are dealing with. We have created a community where these athletes are not able to tell their full story for what it truly is, but rather how they think it should sound, based upon the unfair and unjust criteria we have set regarding what it means to be a college athlete. Within these criteria there are false ideas that college athletes should be immune to mental health issues. We continue to spread the idea that suppressing what these athletes are dealing with in their personal life is for the greater good of their performance on the field.
The goal of this website is to shift the narrative that surrounds college athletes and mental health. This shift in narrative begins with giving the power and influence back to you, the college athlete. Each one of your stories is a step forward towards a new conversation around mental health and college athletics. A conversation where we begin to view you as a person first, and an athlete second. The purpose of the website is to give you the platform to tell your story and experience with mental health and college sports, through and unguarded and unadulterated voice. The need to change the way we view college athletes and mental health is needed now more than ever. This change begins with you displaying the courage to allow yourself to be vulnerable, and showing that even though you may be a college athlete, you are still human, and experience mental health related issues just like everyone else. Throughout the process of telling your stories, the goal is to begin to promote individual and communal healing. This platform serves as an opportunity to understand yourself, and a place for other college athletes to come to, to know they are not alone, and to find different methods of coping through the countless numbers of athletes who are suffering similar battles. Each story that is told is a representation that vulnerability creates connectedness, and outweighs the stigma of mental health in college sports, where far too often you are silenced and forced to figure things out on your own.