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Breaking the Stigma with the NCAA Mental Health Awareness Week

May 8, 2020

May is Mental Health Awareness month, an opportunity to speak up and help “Break the Stigma” surrounding the topic. On this week’s episode of Finlandia Fridays, host Anastazia Hartman is joined by Sports Information Director, Mike Bond to discuss the NCAA Mental Health Awareness Week. 

“The goal was to Break the Stigma surrounding mental health because it has such a negative connotation surrounding it when you ask for help,” said Bond.  “Through the campaign, members of the athletic administration and student-athletes were posting their personal thoughts and stories on mental health, and things they can do to help ”

Over the last week, videos from Bond, senior Ashley Aho, women’s basketball head coach Mariah Dunham and football head coach, Travis Wiltzius voicing their stories and experiences have been shared on the athletic social media platforms. To see the videos visit the Finlandia Athletics Facebook page.

“I think the biggest thing is there is so much pressure on the student-athletes, you have practice, competition, you have to go to class, you have to watch your GPA and credits you have to maintain if you want to get a job and have a social life,” said Bond. “It is a lot of stress and we are just trying to let these kids know we are here for them and it is okay to reach out and it is actually encouraged to get help and ask for help when you need it.”

Bond hopes that this campaign is something that the athletic department can continue doing all the time and not just once a year. “This is something I would like to talk to our athletic director about, but I would like to see us doing something like this at least once a semester, keeping it fresh and encourage more and more of our student-athletes to participate and get the help they may need.”

Don’t be afraid to help break the stigma of mental health.

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