Exercise science major explores mental health of student-athletes

The relationship between mental health and athletics was the focus of the senior seminar research project of Taylor Boe ’18 of Ripon, Wisconsin.

His presentation, “Mental Health in Student-Athletes,” was inspired by Boe’s personal struggles with mental health. “I lost my best friend and younger cousin to suicide four years ago, and I lost who I was for a bit due to my own mental health struggles,” Boe says. “It is important that we recognize student-athletes struggle with (mental health issues) all the time, as well.”

Boe conducted research at Lane Library, using online databases to find articles and studies about mental health, as well as hard materials available in circulation. The biggest challenge Boe faced was the lack of information about student-athletes who struggle with mental health in general.

“This is due to a lack of resources available on college campuses (to these students),” Boe says. “A lack of studies being done on this topic also contributed to a lack of available information.” .

One of the takeaways from Boe’s presentation is the indiscrimination of mental health. “Mental health doesn’t care who you are or what you do — it can take away great aspects of your life from you without caring who you are,” he says.

“I felt this first-hand when I lost my cousin, and until about a year ago I struggled every day with that. This (research) has helped me continue to heal from not only my loss, but in other aspects of my own life, as well.”

Boe was drawn to the exercise science department of Ripon College because of his life-long love of sports. He has been an athlete his entire life and then was drawn to the management side of sports. He is majoring in sports management with a minor in coaching.

While presenting his research, Boe felt nervous because of the number of people in attendance; fortunately, having his father, grandfather and friends there to support him instilled the confidence necessary to share all he had learned.

Boe reflects upon his Ripon College experience positively. “The experiences at Ripon College are by far the best,” he says. “I have been able to do so many great things because of the small-town atmosphere. Growing up in Ripon, I never thought I’d end up at Ripon College, but I am so happy I made the decision to attend here and finish my education.”

Boe is an exercise science major and coaching minor.

Dakota Marlega ’21
Waupaca, Wisconsin


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