Katie Meyer’s family creates petition to bolster student support systems

(Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

The family of Katie Meyer is aiming to improve support systems for students who are struggling with their mental health.

Meyer, a goalkeeper for the Stanford women’s soccer team, died by suicide in March. She was 22 years old.

The family has designed a policy called Katie’s Save that universities can use to bolster their student support systems. Through the policy, institutions would be required to send an email notification to an adult “Designated Advocate” of the student’s choice. The notification would be sent if an emotional or mental health visit on campus results in the prescribing of medication, among other situations.

The family has also started a Change.org petition to urge universities, students and advocates to come together to help navigate the mental health crisis facing college students and implement the policy. Since March, at least five NCAA athletes have died by suicide, four of them women: Meyer, Sarah Shulze, Jayden Hill, Robert Martin and Lauren Bernett.

Others also have opened up about their struggles with mental health in recent weeks.

A lengthy investigation published by the Orange County Register last Tuesday detailed how at least six current or former swimmers at the University of California Berkeley had reportedly been driven to contemplate suicide by their coach, Teri McKeever. McKeever has since been placed on leave. Wisconsin swimmer and 2022 NCAA champion Paige McKenna also documented her struggles in a social media post last week, revealing that she had also dealt with suicidal thoughts.

A recent survey published by the NCAA revealed that athletes in women’s sports reported more mental health concerns than their peers in men’s sports.

Note: If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.