Content warning: The following story contains sensitive information about mental illness.
With over 1,200 teams attending our USA CUP tournament, it is crucial that we take this opportunity to show our athletes that they are not alone, and that there are resources available to them if they need them. One of our many non-profit organizations sharing awareness for mental health is Thumbs Up, a local non-profit based out of Elk River, MN.
Thumbs Up provides support and resources about mental health in various communities around the metro. Shannon Lee was welcomed into the Thumbs Up community when she lost her 16 year old daughter, Ashlyn, to suicide. Six weeks prior to Ashlyn’s passing, her boyfriend Sam also died by suicide. Ashlyn played in the USA CUP tournament yearly and played soccer for Blaine since she was young.
“Mental health plays a big role in athletics. Knowing it’s okay to not be okay is a really important thing,” Shannon says. ” Mental health is something that really effects everyone…everyone is touched in some way by mental health.”
Keep an eye out for our staff and guests wearing green in support of mental health awareness!
If you want to learn more about Thumbs Up, check out their website here: https://thumbsupformentalhealth.org/