The swimming & diving team at Truman State University in Missouri has banded together to support mental health through a movement called the Orange Bead Collective.
The Orange Bead Collective is a way to join together people who struggle with depression and anxiety and the people who support them through the struggle. All involved wear special bracelets with a single orange bead in the hopes of nourishing conversation about mental health.
One continuing theme of our ongoing mental health series here on SwimSwam has been the need for openness and honest conversation about a topic that often carries intense stigma, especially for athletes who sometimes mistakenly see asking for help as a sign of weakness.
Truman State was featured on the Orange Bead Collective website last week – you can read their full story by following this link, but a brief excerpt, written by junior Emily Ponte, is below:
Life can get really challenging during this time in every swimmer’s life. The Bulldog family has been effected by Depression and Anxiety but we all stand together and lean on each other when we need it. My sister battled Depression and has become a stronger, happier, and healthier person after it all. I am so proud of her. Also some close teammates have had some battles of their own.
We all have each other’s back. Team members ordered the Orange Bead Collection to show our support and the understanding that no one is alone in this life, especially when you’re a Bulldog.
You can learn more about the Orange Bead Collective here, and you can find the orange bead bracelets here.