Mental health concerns for athletes have been in the news a lot lately. It is not new news, athletes have suffered from anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses for decades. Sometimes it takes a high profile athlete or athletes to shed some light on a topic such as mental health. As recent as this Summer’s Olympic games, athletes have withdrawn from major competitions due to the strains and stress of their sport’s demands and the demands of the media. In women’s professional tennis, players ranked highly and who were expected to compete for championships have withdrawn due to their concerns for their own mental health. Honestly, it happens in every sport on every level of competition. My Springfield College motto “Spirit, Mind, Body,” was always a reminder to me (and other SC players) to train all three and recognize the need to be healthy not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually.
I learned about the Chris Collins Wiffle Ball Tournament in its first year of existence through a post on Facebook. I was directed to the Chris Collins Foundation website, where I read a very sad story of a young man who was a student athlete, a baseball player, a son, lost way, way too early. According to the bio on the foundation’s website, Collins battled depression and anxiety for 3 years before tragically taking his own life. As a parent, it just breaks your heart to read a story like that and I applaud the Collins family for doing what they can to raise awareness for mental health as a incredible tribute to their son.
Gerry Marzilli, a well respected Rhode Island baseball resource for me over the years and manager of the Brothers team in the George Donnelly Sunset League emailed me this flyer and added this comment, “I manage the Bro’s club in The Newport Sunset League. Chris Collin an SK All State and former Bro’s player lost his battle with depression as a player at Amherst College. The Chris Collins Foundation was created to raise awareness of mental health issues among members of the community. Please share this flyers with your many followers. Thank You.”
For more information on the Chris Collins Wiffle Ball Tournament and other charity events organized by the Chris Collins Foundation, click on the photo to be redirected to the foundation’s website. Or go to http://www.chriscollinsfoundation.org. And please read through the pages of the foundation’s website to learn more about mental health issues and how to get help if you or someone you love is struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. And if you are interested in signing up to play in the tournament, there is a tournament page on the website where you can register for this Saturday’s charity event.