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Thu Apr 28, 2022, 03:00 PM

Suicides put spotlight on how hard it can be for student-athletes to ask for help

As a teenager, Victoria Emma was one of the top junior tennis players in the country. Colleges were recruiting her. She got to travel the world for matches. With her tennis career going so well, no one, including Emma’s parents, had any clue that she had tried to end her life — until they found suicide notes stashed away in her bedroom.

“They had no idea anything was going on,” Emma, now 22 and playing professionally, said. “I don’t blame them. I was very good at hiding it. There’s plenty of times when I’m on the court and I have to do that.”

Switched into homeschool full-time in high school so she could focus on tennis, she started feeling disconnected from her friends and overwhelmed by the demands of her sport. It had taken over her identity.

“When tennis wasn’t going well, I didn’t have a way of handling that,” Emma, of Delray Beach, Florida, said. “Even when it was going well, there were people where all they talked about with me was tennis.”

Since the beginning of March, three high-profile college student-athletes have died by suicide across the United States. On their fields of play, the three young women projected indestructibility: Katie Meyer as a star goalkeeper on Stanford’s soccer team; Sarah Shulze as a top runner for the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Lauren Bernett as a standout softball player for James Madison University.

But off the field, all three were secretly struggling.


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Reply Suicides put spotlight on how hard it can be for student-athletes to ask for help (Original post)
Jilly_in_VA Apr 2022 OP
Chin music Apr 2022 #1
Jilly_in_VA Apr 2022 #2
Chin music Apr 2022 #3

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Thu Apr 28, 2022, 06:16 PM

2. A lot of these kids

went to public schools. Don't assume they didn't. I can tell you a real horror story about a girl I knew personally who went to public school with my son and ran cross-country and track and was on course to become really great. No, she didn't commit suicide. Instead, she had a years-long struggle with eating disorders that nearly killed her.

DO NOT ASSUME that elite athletes don't come from public schools too. Just DO NOT ASSUME, period.

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