Assisting Off the Ice
Name: Taylor Moreland
Graduation Year from SHU: 2018
Team You Played for: Women’s Ice Hockey
Did you have a part with Heart to Heart;?
I have shared part in Heart to Heart; since founder, Devan Kane began crafting her first emails regarding this initiative. When I was initially asked to be involved in the development of Heart to Heart; I had no doubt in my mind it would make a vast difference on campus, specifically in athletics. I later went on to become the treasurer and attended meetings and aided Devan in any way she needed.
Do you think it sparked the conversation in your time at SHU?
Heart to Heart; most definitely sparked conversation at SHU. After all, what are these bright green bracelets everyone is wearing?? That’s right, that’s Heart to Heart;. Additionally, an increasing number of teams are dedicating one home game a year to this cause.
Heart to Heart; has built a foundation for athletes to connect in various ways surrounding mental health. It is important to understand that everyone has faced struggle in their life. Now yes, some on different levels but there is always somebody to talk to. Student athletes devote an extensive amount of time to class, studying, practice, games, lift, extra activities (speakers), a social life, etc. and most of them do it with a smile on their face. Athletes are often the best at keeping their struggles to themselves because that is what they are expected to do on the ice, field, or court.
Mental health issues do not only affect those struggling. Throughout my four years at Sacred Heart I took it upon myself to always be there to listen. Seeing a teammate or friend battling issues is heart-breaking let alone trying to watch them fight it on their own. After all, these can be the hardest four years of an athlete’s life thus far. Many Division I athletes were the all-star on their high school team then come to college and face a difference situation. The most important thing to remember is that there is always someone there to listen. They may not initially reach out to you because they may not even know you’re struggling, however, do not be afraid to make that step and ask for their comfort. It can make all the difference in the world!
As a captain, it was important for me to be there for my teammates, not only on the ice but more importantly off the ice. If you do not personally struggle, reach out, give a helping hand to someone you believe is, it could be the difference. Heart to Heart; has allowed silence to emerge. Do not stay quiet, somebody is there to sympathize. This initiative is a positive step in the right direction for collegiate athletics.
Let’s continue to #SHUtdownthestigma together!