Juggling the #mental demands of being a college #athlete goes to a whole new level in 2020.
Author: Connor Rhiel
NORFOLK, Va. — “I don’t think there’s ever been a group that’s having to go through as much as this group right now.”
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
Justin Fuente has been coaching #college #football since 2001. Nineteen years later, and none of them compare to 2020. A global #pandemic, canceled seasons, rampant #racial injustice, the increased exposure with #socialmedia: the factors that come with being a #studentathlete in 2020 are unique and unprecedented.
“It’s like a perfect storm with all of the elements,” Fuente said.
While many see the physical outlet that #players have lost with canceled seasons, the #mental toll may be just as great.
Always a demanding role, in the past #studentathletes could always turn to their arena for escape. Most of them have dominated this space since they were #young, it is safe and familiar. Quarantine and the need for #socialdistancing intruded even the four lines.
While players wait for their opportunity to compete again, many monitor their #mentalhealth like never before, and they have more support than ever before.
“Hopefully this has opened our eyes, as older people, to the things #kids are going through,” Fuente said.