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News for IWU’s Campus

IWU Softball Hosts Mental Health Advocacy Game

By Reilly Gaunt, Abby Harvey, Colton Pratt, Nick Windsor and Isaac Wolf

Indiana Wesleyan University’s softball team hosted a game promoting mental health
awareness on Saturday, March 30. They played against Spring Arbor University, but both
teams participated in the mental health awareness event.

The event focused on suicide prevention and the stigma around mental health in female
athletics. To learn more about the event, Amplify journalist Nick Windsor spoke to IWU graduate
assistant coach Ally Hall and IWU softball player Kamryn Buck.

Both teams wore green ribbons in their hair because a green ribbon is the international
symbol of mental health awareness. Along with the ribbons, each player and coach received a
gift bag containing a pen, bracelet, nail file, and a card containing mental health hotline

“What a cool day,” said head coach Steve Babinski “to champion mental health
awareness and also promote it on our team.”

The first pitch of the game was thrown by IWU softball team’s graduate assistant coach Ally Hall who is studying to get her master’s degree in mental health counseling.

“I feel like it’s really important to break the stigma surrounding mental health,” Hall said,
“and work to stop the view towards mental health being a weakness.”

In a 2022 study by NCAA, researchers found that 38% of female athletes have
experienced mental exhaustion while male sports only have 22%. The same pattern emerges in
feelings of overwhelming anxiety, with women in sports experiencing it at a rate of 29% while
men experience it at a rate of 12%.

“Mental health awareness is important because you need to know you’re important while
you’re here. You need to know you matter while you’re here,” said assistant coach Olivia
Hopkins. “We don’t see a broken bone as a negative thing and we need to see mental health as
a positive thing.”

IWU softball players wear green ribbons for mental health awareness.
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