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Two local athletes help raise awareness for mental health through Morgan’s Message

CVU’s Neva Williams and South Burlington’s Mia Kaczmarek want other student-athletes to know they don’t have to suffer in silence
CVU’s Neva Williams and South Burlington’s Mia Kaczmarek want other student-athletes to know they don’t have to suffer in silence
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 12:00 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - It’s OK to not be OK. Those are important words.

CVU’s Neva Williams and South Burlington’s Mia Kaczmarek use those words through their work as ambassadors with Morgan’s Message. It’s a platform where student-athletes can share their struggles with mental health and transform devastation into action. For those unfamiliar with Morgan’s story, Morgan Rodgers was a former Duke women’s lacrosse student-athlete where she endured a horrible knee injury and tragically took her own life after her struggle with mental health as a result of her injury.

Williams and Kaczmarek have a message for others around Vermont and that’s you don’t have to suffer in silence.

“Knowing that in order to be a strong athlete, a strong student, a strong person, you need to prioritize your mental health,” Williams said.

Kaczmarek returned to the field this past spring for girl’s lacrosse after missing her first two years of high school athletics due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then tearing her ACL. She leaned on her friend as Williams showed her Morgan’s Message. You may see athletes battle on the field, but you may not always understand their battles off of it.

“It makes me feel good that I can give back to someone else who went through something that I struggled with to help them with their struggles,” Kaczmarek said. “Like once you enter Morgan’s Message, you learn about it and you’re like, ‘Oh, wow.’ And then you help yourself and then you can help others, and then it just keeps going, and it’s awesome.”

CVU and South Burlington held a girl’s lacrosse game this past May dedicated to Morgan’s Message.

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