Raising Awareness: Struggles, Suicide and Swimming

Here at SwimSwam, we’ve taken some considerable time this year, working with Emily Brunemmann, among others, to focus on mental health in athletes.

Our friends over at the Florida Swim Network, who have had more than one tragedy hit close to home, have put together a very good 20 minute video (featuring World Record holder Gemma Spofforth).

Watch that video above.

 

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7 years ago

Great video!

7 years ago

Thank you this is a topic that needs to be talked about

FIRSTRESPONDER
7 years ago

AS SOMEONE WHO HAS WORKED WITH THE SUICIDE PREVENTION CENTER AND PROVIDED THERAPY FOR MANY YEARS I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THESE 2 YOUNG WOMEN FOR BEGINNING A CONVERSATION AND CREATING SOME INITIAL AWARENESS ON THIS SUBJECT. I’M SURE THEY BOTH HAVE EVEN MORE TO CONTRIBUTE AT SOME POINT GIVEN THEIR EXPERIENCES AND I LOOK FORWARD TO THEIR CONTINUED HONESTY AND INSIGHTS. I WOULD LIKE TO COMMEND CLUB COACHES, SPECIFICALLY MARK CORLEY & SHAWN DELIFUS WITH THE LOGGERHEAD SWIM PROGRAM, FOR RECOGNIZING THE NEED FOR THIS TYPE OF SUPPORT FOR THE ATHLETE. WHILE THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF EMPHASIS ON GETTING SOMEONE TO “TALK” IT’S IMPORTANT THAT COACHES, PARENTS AND TEAMMATES HAVE A GOOD UNDERSTAND OF THE “NOT SO… Read more »

Thank you
7 years ago

These posts are incredibly needed. As someone who struggles with this, increasing awareness is important. I wrote an “a day in my life” piece. It is kind of graphic but if the swimswam monitors allow it, I think it could provide some insight.

4:35 AM
My alarm goes off. It instantly wakes me up. It’s time for swim practice. I get out of bed and put on my sweats that I take off and throw on the floor every night before I go to bed. I go down the steps into the kitchen to eat something that takes no effort to make. A banana or pop tarts usually gets the job done. I get in my car and begin… Read more »

DSmith
7 years ago

Agree with both posts; education of those coaching staffs is necessary…the training itself takes maybe an hour to an hour-and-a-half, and then follow-up in a month or two for anther training session of same length…and the results of training someone to “ask the question” about suicide are potentially life-saving. Folks who are suffering that type of depression need treatment, and asking the question is one way to start that process. USA Swimming should include that training for its coaching staffs. Depression is an illness to be treated and managed, it is not a weakness.

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thank you. These types of posts are so necessary.

law dawg
7 years ago

I would just like to point out this type of video presents a very different picture than the “mental toughness” posts that are sometimes seen on swimswam and other sports websites. The modo usually presented in those is essentially “no excuses.” I don’t really see how those beliefs can be held while still showing sensitivity towards athletes and their potential mental health problems. Perhaps I’m wrong, but at least with my coach, there was absolutely no middle ground. Either you were mentally weak or strong; there was no concept of someone genuinely struggling with depression or related issues.

Swimninja
Reply to  law dawg
7 years ago

I think that people have a lot of different relationships with their coaches. Throughout the years I myself have had different relationships with each coach I have had. One of my coaches in particular is one that I feel would have that middle ground you say doesn’t seem to exist. On many occasions he would express how mentally tough he thought I and others on the team were. But on bad days where my mind just wasn’t in it, he would notice immediately, call me out of the pool, talk about it with me, and then tell me to hop back in. After talking with him about it I would always feel refreshed and I knew that he didn’t look… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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