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Women's Soccer To Host Mental Health Awareness Night Tuesday

August 18, 2022

By: Jody Jones | August 17th, 2022 | Photo by Jeffrey A. Camarati

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The University of North Carolina women's soccer team will host Mental Health Awareness Night Thursday when it welcomes Tennessee to Dorrance Field to kick off the 2022 season at 7 p.m.
The stadium will be trimmed in green, the official color of mental health awareness, with posters, streamers, hair bows and sidewalk chalk messages to inspire and encourage everyone.
"Mental health means so much to our program because it affects each one of us every day," senior Madi Pry said. "We believe it can save lives. As a student-athlete, a lot of times you are told to put on a tough game face and play your sport, but life can get in the way of that sometimes. We are striving to create a culture in our team that gives people the permission to struggle and the permission to say you are having a bad day because real healing and growth can come from that."
As part of the Tar Heels' Mental Health Awareness Night, two local mental health organizations – CAPS (Counseling And Psychological Services at UNC) and Morgan's Message – will have tables set up in the end zone by the scoreboard. 
According to The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, 73 percent of students experience some sort of mental health crisis in college, but only 25 percent of students with a mental health problem seek help.
"We want to let the community that gives us endless love and support know that we love them and care about their well-being," Pry said. "We also want to encourage people to have real and vulnerable conversations with each other. The more willing we are to let our real selves be seen, the more loved, connected, and supported we can feel." 
In addition, UNC will provide balloons for fans to blow up and tie to the fence around the stadium. Fans are invited to decorate the balloons to recognize and honor someone who has either lost their lives to suicide or walked through mental health struggles.
Videos and public service announcements from the women's soccer team will be played throughout the night.
"By holding a night like this we hope to break stigmas around mental health," Pry explained. "Stigmas spread when we don't talk about mental health and its importance. By telling the stories of the battles we have survived, we hope they can inspire others to keep fighting.
"While we cannot fix someone else's mental health, we can be in it with them, showing them compassion and love." 
Tickets are available at goheels.com. Reserved seats can be purchased for $10 and general admission tickets are available for $8. Discounted tickets are also available through group tickets. UNC employees get free access for themselves and their immediate family (total limit of four) to regular season games at Dorrance Field by displaying their UNC One Card or UNC Hospitals ID at the gate of the sporting facility, based on availability.
Separate from the mental health awareness initiatives, Thursday's match will also include 2022 UNC women's soccer schedule t-shirt giveaways.
Season tickets are on sale at goheels.com, starting at $64 for general admission and $80 for reserved seating. Special rates are available for UNC faculty and staff members who wish to purchase reserved seats by contacting the UNC Athletics Ticket Office. Season ticket holders receive access to the McCaskill Building to get an up-close view of Carolina Soccer's historic excellence and achievements and will also be invited to join host Freddie Kiger as he speaks to legendary head coach Anson Dorrance on this year's team, previous seasons, and his journey leading Carolina Soccer.

News Post originally published on https://goheels.com/news/2022/8/17/womens-soccer-to-host-mental-health-awareness-night.aspx

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