By now, everyone knows of our beloved women’s basketball point guard Hanna Hall. The rising junior had an incredible season in 2018-2019 seeming to find her identity as a player. She had all the pressure on her being the one to replace Steph Reid, and she was able to make a name for herself this year instead of just being somebody to replace Steph.
As fans however, we were only able to see the wonderful player on the court. We were unable to see the struggle she was faced with every day. Hanna was struggling with her mental health behind the scenes. Today, she was brave enough to share with everyone her story. Instead of trying to summarize this, please watch this 6 minute video.
"I'm Hanna Hall, a 5'3" Division 1 point guard from the University at Buffalo and I struggle with mental illness every day." This is my story.#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth | #ThisIsMyStory | #GetLoud@hannahall10 @UBuffalo @MACSports pic.twitter.com/ZzNOUbZ2IW— UB Athletics (@UBAthletics) May 6, 2019
In making this video and publicly discussing her struggle with anorexia, Hanna Hall has become a role model to me once again. This goes beyond the Hanna Hall we saw making three pointers in Cleveland or the Hanna Hall who seemingly always had a smile on the court. This is Hanna Hall, a human being who is ready to end the stigma around mental health.
Hanna’s story is an important one as she highlights the pressures an athlete faces to always be the best. In order to become a division 1/2/3 athlete, you have to push your body both mentally and physically. Mental illness may be seen as a “weakness” but what Hanna has shown today is it is okay, to not be okay.
In going public with her everyday battle, Hanna has reminded us to always check on the people in your life. Even those who seem to have it all, and are always smiling may need help too. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about one in five people struggle with mental illness every year. This means people around you may be struggling with mental illness without you knowing. Hanna’s video today reminded us we should not be afraid to talk about these issues.
As someone who themselves as struggled with mental health issues relating to depression and anxiety, what Hanna did today hit me in a place which meant the world. The past year, I too have felt what Hanna discusses so bravely in the video. You begin to feel as if you are weak for having these issues. You begin to say no it can’t happen to me. But this is the issue she was able to address. What Hanna did today was remind me it is okay when I personally don’t feel okay.
So to you Hanna, if you happen to stumble upon this article, we over here at BullRun would like to thank you for your bravery in addressing a serious issue. Thank you for letting us in to your personal life. We here in the Buffalo community love you and will support you through this battle. It doesn’t go away overnight, and as Coach Jack would say, this community will be with you in the Fox hole.
If you personally reading this are struggling with mental health issues, it is okay and we would like to provide some resources for any and all who may need it.
If you are a current undergraduate student at UB, the university offers free mental health counseling. You can find out about all the services offered here:
If you are ever feeling suicidal please call the suicide hotline at: 1-800-273-8255.
If you are looking for other mental health services around Buffalo, here is a website which lists all the services in Erie County.
Do not forget, you are not alone in these battles and nothing is wrong with you if you reach out for help. As Hanna makes sure to show, mental health should be taken seriously. So one more time, thank you Hanna, for sharing your story.