Listening Counts As Rehab Too
My name is Casey Quinn and I have been working at SHU for 6 years as an Athletic Trainer and I am a co-founder of Heart to Heart;. As an Athletic Trainer, we are faced with many different roles ranging from the team “Mom”, dealing with stomach aches, handing out band-aids, listening to roommate issues and frustrations with professors, coaches or other teammates. But, we also get to know the emotional well-being of our student-athletes because they begin to trust us and start to let down their walls. We not only deal with the physical injuries such as an ACL tear or a sprained ankle, but those injuries that are not often seen and can only be recognized by asking the right questions and having those “heart to heart” conversations.
I do not personally suffer from any mental health illnesses, but as an Athletic Trainer, I am faced with many student-athletes who do suffer these silent battles on a daily basis. Mental Illnesses were something that were quite foreign to me when starting my career as an Athletic Trainer at SHU.
I remember learning about these types of illnesses, but like any other real life experience, you can’t understand until you actually experience it firsthand. There is no explaining what it’s like to have someone suffer from an eating disorder trying to get through a team meal; to seeing physical cut marks on the person you just taped the day prior; or a student-athlete going through the motions of rehab because they just don’t have the will to continue on. No text book can prepare you for these type of situations.
These experiences are nothing more than eye-opening, as well as humbling. Seeing the student-athletes who once suffer, get the help they need and deserve and turn around to help others dealing with the same illnesses, is very rewarding. Mental Health Illnesses are something that I don’t think I will ever truly understand, not because I don’t want to, but because I do not suffer like others do. In reality it’s not about understanding, it’s about accepting people the way they are and instead of asking why they are that way, it should be “how can I help”?
"I think it’s important to remember that you never know what battle someone is going through on the inside despite what they show on the outside. So, take the time to listen, get to know each other and you won’t even realize you could not only be changing, but saving someone’s life."
Athletic Trainers get to see people at their absolute worst, but also their highest high. I did not think there would be a more rewarding experience than seeing someone play in their first game after suffering a season-ending injury, but I have been proven wrong by Heart to Heart;. Heart to Heart; itself is something I am very proud to be a part of and has been a truly humbling experience.
I am honored to be associated with something that is so great and it has been wonderful to see the Sacred Heart Community coming together to support this amazing initiative and I look forward to the unforgettable year(s) ahead. #SHUdownthestigma Always remember you are good enough, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise
Assistant Athletic Trainer
Women's Ice Hockey and Men's and Women's Tennis