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USWNT Teams Up for Mental Health

Alongside their efforts on the pitch, the USWNT are teaming up to shine a light on mental health. Naomi Girma and Sophia Smith, both Stanford Class of 2021, are speaking up to honor their Stanford teammate Katie Meyer. An outstanding goalkeeper and an energetic, upbeat person, Meyer led the Cardinal to a national title in a dramatic shootout in 2019 – and unexpectedly took her own life last year, when she was 22 years old.

“We know first-hand how many people, especially student athletes, are struggling in silence,” said Girma, “and we want to use our platform in this huge moment for something bigger than soccer.”

To honor her memory, her best friend Girma and her USWNT teammates are partnering with the nonprofit Common Goal to draw attention to mental health. In a video they created to discuss the issue of mental health, they emphasize, “We want to demonstrate that vulnerability is a sign of strength.”

“We are determined to create a culture shift, at all levels of the game, following this summer’s World Cup,” said Lilli Barrett-O’Keefe, Executive Director of Common Goal USA. “We are grateful for the players that are pushing this narrative forward and holding us all accountable to not only talk but act.”

Girma summed it up this way: “We don’t want this to end simply at awareness. We want to make sure that young people have the tools to cope with depression, anxiety, stress, and the very bad days, when it feels like the weight of the world is on their shoulders, and it can never get better.”

“It can always get better.”

If you (or someone you know) are at a low moment or struggling with thoughts of suicide, call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. A trained counselor will help you get the support you need. You are not alone. You are never – ever – alone.

Read the full article here.

Or read Naomi Girma’s moving tribute to her teammate and best friend.

Or watch the team’s video:

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