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Beyond the Cheers: Mental Health and Student Athletes

As I watched the Raptors game the other day and witnesses the only game 7 winning buzzer beater in NBA history, I couldn’t help but think what if after the 4 bounces off the rim the ball missed? What if the game went into overtime and the Raptors lost? What would be running through Kawhi Leonard's head after the crowd leaves, the lights come on and the gym clears out?

For many athletes, not just professional ones, there is a constant struggle with mental health, addictions and identity. It wasn’t until recent years that athletes from across the sporting world have begun to speak out/ come out and use their platforms to talk beyond the everyday struggles and about their journey with mental health, addictions or just to be themselves. Although there has been a number of professional athletes likes Kevin Love or Michael Phelps there are also a number of university athletes, both in the USA and Canada.

Student athletes not only have to worrying about training for their sport but also being equally as successful in the classroom and moving away from home for the first time. Creating a healthy balance can be a struggle for many young adults and sometimes it even harder to reach out for help with the added pressure of being a successful athlete. Fortunately for us a brave few have used their voice to share their stories of struggles and triumph.

Bryan Fautley - Queens University Men’s Volleyball

Hanna Hall - University of Buffalo Women’s Basketball  

Ernie Duncan - University of Vermont Men’s Basketball   

Savvy Simo - UCLA Women’s Volleyball

Krista Van Slingerland - University of Ottawa Women’s Basketball

Fabian Walsh - University of Carleton Men’s Hockey

Nick Lee - Vassar College Men’s Tennis  


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