Q&A with Mykia Jones

Mykia Jones has an energy that can help transcend this world in the right direction. It was nearly impossible to ignore her genuine presence after coming across an interview of her. She spoke with love, passion, transparency, and understanding. She was real, and that is something that continues to fade as we all get caught up in the world of social media and comparing ourselves to others . While currently residing in Philadelphia she is finishing her last year towards her Masters in Sport Management and also cultivating her brand, blogs, and fashion (Yas Queen!).

We are so glad that Mykia has taken the time to share her views on mental health among the athletic community and her own personal experiences. Be Inspired is a place where real is appreciated and she gave us exactly that. StayWhole would like to thank Mykia for helping us fight the stigma. Without paradigm shifters like yourself we would not be able to push movements as such forward!

Be Inspired Q&A

How do you feel about mental health?

Mental health is an important issue that isn’t discussed enough-especially within the black community. I want my story to help those that have gone through (or are still going through) depression or mental breakdowns. It’s quite shocking to know how many people are suffering from poor mental health and the depths in which we’ve unconsciously allowed that depression to takeover our lives.

Have you ever dealt with mental health, depression or anxiety? Especially at any point during your college career.

Yes, college is actually where I experienced depression and became concerned with my mental health. College is a very pivotal time for young adults and you learn a lot about yourself. You discover new versions of yourself (whether it be good or bad) and you use that as a guide to dissect how you should move accordingly with whatever issues life may throw your way. I dealt with this for several years all throughout my college career.

What helped you to overcome it? Was there any resources offered to you from school/athletics program?

Time. Time heals all wounds. No matter how many therapy sessions you attend, the amount of people you talk to, it’s up to you to change. I took the initiative of doing things without caring what other people thought and doing what made ME happy. Honestly, the resources that are offered for student-athletes are piss poor. There was never a “safe” environment for athletes because we were always taught, “this is college. This isn’t high school anymore.” Coaches aren’t there to baby you. You’re there for a reason and if you aren’t meeting those expectations, they have no problem finding your replacement. Yeah, they mention the “counselors” but no one actually feels comfortable enough to tell them their personal problems.

Do you feel like mental health should be taken more seriously with student athletes? Why?

Absolutely. Student-athlete or not, everyone is entitled to feel how they feel. Think about it. When you’ve done a sport your entire life, and somehow managed to juggle school, your own personal problems (and not to mention having a social life) … things can get pretty hectic. Now I’m not saying to feel sorry for us or treat every single one of our issues as an episodic mental breakdown but we’re human. We’re still learning and growing.

Also, let’s not forget about that college O-Linemen or wide receiver or even cornerbacks that are continuously getting concussions but are somehow being pushed aside because the teams’ wins and losses are more important than the players’ mental health. Those concussions then turn into CTE, and now you have a retired player who can barely remember his name or is impulsively acting out in ways that aren’t normal. I know this is a little extreme but this is all true. It happens.

Did you reach out for help or did you try to get through it/handle it on your own?

I did a little bit of both. I mainly reached out to my parents and teammates that I was close with. However, handling an issue of this nature on your own can feel like the world is on your shoulders.

What did you learn from your experiences?

That I wasn’t alone. There’s someone going through the exact same thing as you and are closer to you than you expect. I also learned that I am a healer. I’ve fought many silent battles and somehow ended up on top. It’s important to share knowledge. It’s important to spread love, light and positive. Someone may need it.

Follow her @mykiajones4

Follow us @staywholefoundation

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