Morgan’s Message Reaches Wantagh High School

Meghan Tucker, Associate Editor

In July 2019, Morgan Rodgers, a Division I lacrosse athlete who played at Duke University, died by suicide. She was only 22. Just before her sophomore season she suffered a dream-shattering knee injury that made her feel isolated from her team. The enormous amount of stress caused her to become anxious and depressed. She chose to suffer in silence without friends and family who adored her passion and loving attitude.  

According to the official organization website, “Her energy empowers those she has left behind to transform devastation into action. We elevate her story to provide a platform where others feel safe to share their own, be a catalyst for change within our mental healthcare systems, and foster a community for which tomorrow always exists. Morgan’s Message is clear: as an athlete, there is no shame in seeking physical health care — the same should be true for mental healthcare. In order to close the gap, we must eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health together.”

On April 13, 2022 the Wantagh Girls Varsity Lacrosse team played a home game against  Long Beach in which both teams wore turquoise shirts with the Morgan’s Message logo on the back with a butterfly designed by Morgan herself. They played this game in honor of her legacy while “taking a shot at mental health.”

Brighid Smith, a Wantagh High School sophomore, became an ambassador shortly after that game. When asked how she became one, she says, “A girl I know posted an Instagram post about being an ambassador and it gave me the inspiration to apply to become one as well.”

Smiths further says, “I hope to do some fundraisers and events that students can take part in. I want to do meetings next year where people can help with projects.”

The involvement that our school has taken in this organization is very fitting due to the fact that May is Mental Health Month, recognized and observed in America since 1949. It is extremely important to bring awareness to the mental health stigma that surrounds schools and sports and this marks one of the first steps in doing so.