April 17, 2022

Our 2022 Charity Profiles: Morgan’s Message

Our Mission

Morgan’s Message amplifies stories, resources, and expertise to confront student-athlete mental health, builds a community by and for athletes, and provides a platform for advocacy.

Morgan's Story
Morgan was a beloved daughter, sister, friend, and teammate. A tenacious individual, she gave 100% of herself to every passion, project, and person she encountered. In the classroom, Morgan was a bright student with limitless curiosity; on the field, a talented athlete with relentless drive; in her sketchbook, a gifted artist with keen attention to detail; and in all spaces, a fiercely loyal friend. It is this depth of character that provided encouragement and inspiration to so many, but it was her contagious laugh and infectious energy that embody Morgan’s irreplaceability. If music was playing, she was dancing-- and bringing everyone to the dance floor with her.

As an underclassman in high school, several high-caliber programs began recruiting Morgan to play Division I Women’s Lacrosse. Morgan knew she wanted to play at the highest level the sport could offer while earning a world-class education. Her dream came true in the fall of 2014 when she accepted an offer to play for the Duke University Women’s Lacrosse Team. Still, her vibrant personality and daily life included a reality less visible to the outside world. During her senior year, Morgan began to experience high levels of anxiety; however, she received tremendous support and professional help that proved beneficial at that time. Despite the challenges in her life, never had Morgan been so optimistic about her future as a Blue Devil. She was eager and well-equipped for a successful college experience.

In January of 2017, just before the beginning of her sophomore season, Morgan endured a dream-shattering knee injury. She spent the next 12 months determined to return to the field, undergoing surgery and dedicating herself to an intensive rehabilitation program. Morgan struggled with this abrupt change because she felt she had lost control within her life. As a result, Morgan’s self-worth plummeted. While she presented a strong, happy, and resilient face to her community, she grappled with feeling that she was not living up to her expectations. Her feelings of isolation from the team and stress caused by other relationship issues accelerated the return of anxiety and depression. This time, Morgan chose to suffer in silence, keeping family and friends in the dark as she battled her mental health.

As a result, Morgan died by suicide in July of 2019 at the age of 22.

Although her life was cut way too short, Morgan’s legacy of unconditional love remains. 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 healthcare-- the same should be true for mental healthcare. In order to close the gap, we must eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health together.

Morgan’s Message Education Program
The program supports motivated students to become active leaders and advocates of student-athlete mental health on their campus and in their communities.

By working to raise awareness about the challenges that student-athletes face at your schools, together we will manifest change, eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health, and save lives. With your help, we can spread student-athlete mental health awareness to all.

Through the program, Morgan’s Messengers will work alongside you, and your group, to provide resources and skills needed to reach students across your campus and local community. We will provide guidance on launching Morgan’s Message on your campus, and ensure you are equipped with best practices, resources, and skills needed to grow a successful program. We thank you for your dedication and support of Morgan’s Message and look forward to working alongside you.