Morgan’s Message club spreads awareness on athlete’s mental health

The Morgan’s Message club hopes to develop friendships and support systems between athletes like Morgan had with her teammates.

Photo courtesy of

The Morgan’s Message club hopes to develop friendships and support systems between athletes like Morgan had with her teammates.

A new club, Morgan’s Message, offers athletes a sanctuary by normalizing mental health conversations and providing support for those suffering. 

The main mission of Morgan’s Message is to spread mental health awareness among student athletes. The club was founded in 2020 in honor of Morgan Rodgers, a collegiate lacrosse player who committed suicide after silently battling with her mental health. 

“This topic isn’t a new concept, but it’s one that isn’t really talked about. Student athletes can have a plethora of issues that will go unnoticed, and it’s our job to eliminate the stigma behind it,” said junior and ambassador of the club, Ryan Ponmakha.

Rodger’s parents and twin sister, Aberle, created Morgan’s Message in order to build a community for athletes to feel comfortable talking about their mental health alongside others going through similar circumstances. The organization has different ways for people to be involved in the initiative.

 A yearly lacrosse game is held in honor of Rodgers. In addition, three college athletes who are ambassadors to Morgan’s Message created a podcast called The Mental Matchup which focuses on opening up a dialogue about athletes’ mental health. The Morgan’s Message organization also created an ambassador program that allows students to start clubs on their own.

“As an ambassador, it was my job to start a ‘branch’ or club at WS,” said Ponmakha. “I am also in charge of holding the meetings, presenting slides, connecting with various students, starting dedication matches, and finding unique ways to spread Morgan’s message.”

Another ambassador for Morgan’s Message is junior Keira Walker. Walker initially got involved when her SYC soccer team participated in the initiative. 

“I would encourage people to join because you can make an impact in our community by being a part of something beneficial to others and to themselves,” said Walker.

Similarly, Ponmahka also strongly believes that it is valuable for people to join the club. 

“I honestly feel that this club is something very important, and I want as many athletes as possible to join, so they can learn and understand Morgan’s Message,” said Ponmahka. “As a gymnastics coach, I am very familiar with the weight mental health can hold. I wanted to be in a place to help as many people as possible.” 

Regular meetings usually start with a slideshow about the topic that the club will discuss that day, such as stress, performance anxiety, and burnout.

We’ll try to do an icebreaker while we all eat the food that the club will always have. We make an effort to talk about what’s on our minds and we will always try to find a solution. Since all of our members are athletes we make an effort to finish the club by 3:20-3:30,” said Ponmakha.

The next meeting will take place on Monday, January 2nd in room 1118.