With 2020 being more stressful than usual, Storm athletes look to be aware of mental health.
Senior Jeremy Randol hopes to help Simpson athletes deal with mental health with the new organization called Storm Speaks and allow fellow athletes to talk to others.
“I had the idea after I attended a mental health conference at UCLA, which was a part of my job shadow a few years ago,” Randol said. “I thought about doing it since then, and I just needed to figure out the right time to do it.”
COVID-19 and social justice issues have been at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Student-athletes have lost seasons, and some have played the sport they love for the last time. Top that with an always stressful school year, students need to find a way to talk about mental health.
“After everything that has happened with COVID-19, I figured now would be a great time to get started,” Randol said. “Almost every single student-athlete here at Simpson has either had their season postponed or taken away. I think now is an important time to be able to talk about these things with people that are going through similar situations.”
Emily Bell, another senior at Simpson, is also involved with helping give student-athletes a chance to deal with mental health.
“I think it is a really important issue that the campus hasn’t embraced yet,” Bell said. “I’ve struggled with mental health as well, especially in sports, and being able to share my experience and connect with others is really powerful.”
Bell also hopes that Storm Speaks can be a safe space for student-athletes where they can talk about their mental health.
“I think having a place to express yourself will help your performance on and off the field,” Bell said. “I want to be able to end the stigma that student-athletes shouldn’t talk about their mental health and speak out, because no one is perfect, and other people struggle as well.”
Some may feel that talking about mental health may be hard to talk about or embarrassing, but Randol hopes that student-athletes can feel welcome and comfortable talking to each other.
“I would highly encourage anyone in athletics to come out to this and give it a shot,” Randol said. “I think being able to come together and see that everyone is going through something, no matter how big or how small it is. Sometimes athletes are supposed to be these superhumans that don’t have mental health issues or are going through something, but we want to make it normal to talk about it.”
Storm Speaks plans to start their meetings on Zoom while Simpson is still in the orange phase. However, should Simpson transition to phase yellow, they would like to have meetings in person. Storm Speaks plans to have its first meeting Thursday, Sept. 10, at 8 p.m. on Zoom.