OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – James Madison University announced they will be canceling the rest of its softball season in the wake of the death of star player Lauren Bernett.
Bernett is now the fifth college athlete to take their own life in the last two months. Over the past year we have seen over a dozen student athletes die of suicide.
Stacy Green, who lost her brother, a college track and field athlete, to suicide nine years ago, says its an issue that needs to be talked about.
“We have to discuss our mental health and be open about it,” she said, “And I think so many athletes, they don’t know where to go, they don’t know what the resources are.”
Caleb Munski, President of the Oswego State Student athlete Advisory Committee and a former soccer player for the school, shared his thoughts in an article in the Oswegonian.
“I wrote the article mainly because I myself was struggling with some things and needed some clarification on, like I said what I was feeling how I could help my friends,” he said, “I shared it with a couple of them and they thought that more people needed to hear what I was saying.”
Michael Gualtieri, one of his teammates, echoed his thoughts.
“You’re doing a drill where you have to run hills or something and if you miss it by a certain time you have to do it again, and do it again, and it just kind of makes you – it builds character to an extent that makes you think that you just become numb and you can work through anything,” he said.
“I think just little things like that, especially in an athletes world where it makes other things in life not that big of a deal because you’ve had to suppress pain, whether that is physical or mental, in your sport so you learn to do that in real life as well.”
For Munski, it all goes back to a quote he heard when he first attended a student-athlete mental health conference.
“If you break a bone you would get help,” he said, “Like a cast or physical therapy to help your bone or your sprain so why not help yourself out mentally and I think that is kind of what opened my eyes to the whole mental health situation.”
For anyone who needs help or maybe just needs someone to talk to you can always text 741-741.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.