UW ‘Tackle the Stigma’ talks about athlete mental health in the age of social media

Wisconsin football player Emma Jaskaniec (right) speaks during a roundtable on mental health in sport Tuesday in Madison.  Dr Kris Eiring (left) also participated in the discussion, as did former soccer players Montee Ball and Chris Borland.

MADISON — Like many college athletes, Emma Jaskaniec has a rocky relationship with social media.

A senior football player at the University of Wisconsin, Jaskaniec feels disconnected when she’s not online.

“My generation,” she said, “I feel like if you’re not in it, you’re so out of the loop. It’s crazy.

“I wake up and check. I go to class and after class I check.

“I don’t even know if I’m addicted to social media, but I’m addicted to my phone.”

Staying online is a lifeline for the Menomonee Falls High School graduate. But this lifeline can lead to dangers for athletes.

“It’s a bit different for women’s soccer,” admitted Jaskaniec. “We are not a flagship sport.”

But?

“I’ve spoken to other female athletes and I think a lot of people expect us to be perfect in everything we do,” Jaskaniec said. “Looking perfect or having the perfect body or performing the best you can.

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