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September 15, 2015

Temple lacrosse player details battle with depression, mental health issues

Following Suicide Prevention Week and death of UPenn runner, student-athlete calls for understanding

Mental Health Suicide Prevention
Kara Stroup Temple University Athletics/Contributed Art

Kara Stroup, a student-athlete at Temple University, wrote an essay raising awareness about mental health issues.

More than a year-and-a-half ago, a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania student and track athlete named Madison Holleran took her own life. 

The New Jersey native suffered from depression, and a year after her death, her parents released her suicide note in an effort to try and help others dealing with similar mental health issues. 

On Tuesday, a Temple University student athlete published a personal essay with the same intentions. 

Referencing Holleran's death and National Suicide Prevention Week, which ran from Sept. 6 to 12, senior lacrosse player and psychology major Kara Stroup's piece was posted to the website for Temple University Athletics.

In the essay, Stroup notes that while Holleran may have seemed fine to her friends and family, she was battling serious issues internally. 

She also writes that while she usually would just share other people's posts on social media concerning the topic of mental health, she felt the need to open up about her own battle with mental health. 

Stroup details how she struggled with an eating disorder, and at times considered taking her own life. She says her battle led to two trips to the emergency room and stresses that mental disorders need to be treated like any other disease. 

Toward the end of the piece, she calls for those suffering similar issues to reach out and know that they aren't alone: 

While it took me a long time to confront my issues, I feel like the exposure of the topic helped push me to address it at a time when I felt like I was at a crossroads for picking the path to how my life would end up. If you're sitting there right now torn about what to do, choose to be a survivor because it can get better. Speak up. You've got this. You are worth it. Your life is worth it.

Stroup, a Garnett Valley native, dedicates the article to a former classmate and her cousin, Bo Tkach, a Northern Lehigh High School graduate who took his own life after a battle with depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, according to a foundation set up in his memory

You can read Stroup's entire essay here

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273 TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.