TUCSON, Arizona — While Mental Health Awareness Week was established back in 1990, the ongoing pandemic has pushed the topic into mainstream conversation. And, Wildcat junior volleyball player Merle Weidt is trying to do just that within the UArizona student-athlete community.
"Throughout my college career, I just really realized how important mental health is to me," said Weidt.
Weidt is from Germany, a country where mental health is thought of differently than it is in the United States.
"It's not as big of a stigma."
Weidt started her collegiate career at Rutgers, where said being part of a new culture was challenging.
"It was the mixture of my personal expectations and personal standards with having to adapt to a new country and facing challenges I was not prepared for."
At UArizona, Weidt is the head of the Student-Athlete Mental Health Committee.
"I'm here to listen if anyone needs help or advice. I'm happy to help."
As part of what may be the beginning of an annual campaign, Weidt helped to deliver green bandanas to student-athletes from other Wildcat programs. It's designed to help serve up a conversation.
"The most important thing for me is to break the stigma, and to raise awareness that it's something normal. It's something that we all struggle with, especially athletes that have a lot on our plates."