StepUp Mules Mental Health Talk Reaction (11/8/17)

I attended a Mental Health talk through the StepUp Mules program here at Muhlenberg.  The StepUp Mules program is something that the school sets up for our athletic teams that educate us on some issues, problems, or stigmas associated with being a student-athlete.  This particular talk was concerning mental health.  The speaker was a former student-athlete at Muhlenberg College who struggled with mental health issues throughout his collegiate career.  This was a particularly powerful message to me because although I don’t suffer from mental health issues, I know that they are a serious matter to watch out for in my teammates and potentially myself.  The speaker’s main thrust was that these sort of issues can happen to anyone.   When first introduced to the speaker, me and my teammates had absolutely no idea that he would be someone struggling with clinical depression, severe anxiety, and severe insomnia.  But throughout his talk, as we learned more and more about this individual and his story, my teammates and I began to realize that this alumnus is very much like ourselves.  This served as a real eye-opener for me personally because although I’d like to say that I understand the dangers of mental health issues, I most likely do not, as I am someone who does not go through the everyday struggles of having a mental illness.  The talk made me more aware that a person doesn’t necessarily have to have had any traumatic experiences in his or her life to develop a mental illness, and that it truly can happen to anyone, even if it seems like they have everything going for him or her.  For a talk that upon entry I was not very interested in,  I ended up learning so much about a topic that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and at the end of the day, I am very happy I attended.

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