Lindsay Fennelly seems to have it all.
She is beloved as a former Iowa State University standout basketball player. She is a successful businesswoman. She is a mother of two lovely children. And she’s an assistant at Iowa State University, her basketball coach Billy.
But Lindsey Fennelly will speak on a different subject Tuesday as keynote speaker at the Story County Mental Health Expo. will be
Fennelly will speak about her mental health journey at 7:30 PM, followed by a Q&A session.
“I was first diagnosed with mental illness in 2013,” she told the Ames Tribune.
When she got that diagnosis, she had thousands of LinkedIn contacts, Twitter followers, and Facebook friends. “The last thing I ever thought of was telling someone I went through a 15-day action stay at Mary Greeley,” Fennelly said.
She threw it under the carpet and planned just to sleep better. She didn’t think she needed therapy.
Fennelly said he mistakenly associated mental illness with the negative things he saw in the news, such as crazy shooters and suicides.
“I feel like the happiest psychopath I know, so I didn’t want to put that label on it,” she said. “I knew I had a platform, but honestly my ego was like, ‘I’m not going to tell anyone there’s anything wrong with me.’ .
more: Former Iowa star Lindsay Fennelly has become a public advocate for raising mental health awareness
Georges Niang helped Lindsay Fennelly go public with her mental illness
Five years have passed. She and Billy had two children. Together they built a business.
They were on the train to success.
“People looking out must have been like, ‘She’s got it all together,'” she said.
In 2018, it all fell apart and Fennelly was hospitalized for the second time, this time for 21 days.
“I had this urge that if I talked about it, it might help someone. And in the end, I had to go on medication this time, so it would help me. This time.” , had to go to therapy every other week or otherwise.
“What was that?” I didn’t know, but I didn’t want to go with my family. If I didn’t take this seriously this time, would Billy have left me?”
About a week after Fennelly finished three weeks in the hospital, she decided to call another Iowa State basketball star, George Niang.
“George and I go on golf excursions and camps together and stay in touch often, especially in the spring,” she said.
Fennelly didn’t have his cell phone with him while he was in the hospital, so he asked what was going on.
“That’s when I started having a little breakdown. I was like, ‘I’m in the hospital for mental illness,'” she said.
There was a few seconds of silence — what seemed like a long time. Fennelly thought it was over. He wouldn’t be interested in continuing his events, camping or golfing.
But then Nian said what Fennelly needed to hear.
“He completely normalized it. In that moment I thought Georges would tell anyone if he still sees me as I am and pushes me to partner with him on this event. “That was the power of his reaction.”
Fennelly was puzzled by her diagnosis for years. She never accepted it.
“But his reaction gave me the strength to say, ‘Let’s go,'” she said.
A few weeks later, Fennelly privately posted that she was hospitalized for mental illness. In her last four years, she has spoken to multiple audiences, virtually or in person, providing “organic storytelling” about her situation.
“It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to admit you’re not perfect. It’s okay to take medication or see a therapist. It’s not a sign of weakness,” she said. I was.
Lindsey Fennelly found herself unable to coach herself from mental illness
Living in the world of track and field, it was difficult for Fennelly to accept that his illness prevented him from coaching himself.
Since becoming a mental health advocate, Fennelly has shared her story with over 13,000 people. Her website her lyndseyspeaks.com connects her with schools and other organizations.
“From the outside, it just didn’t make sense to people. I think that’s where people got my story.” “I don’t want to sound bossy because I don’t think I’m any more special than the next person. But many people know my last name.” A lot of people know I used to play basketball here.”
Fennelly himself was inspired by the story of a man who seemed to have it all. It wasn’t a famous athlete, it was pop diva Mariah Carey.
A People magazine issue published in April 2018, while Fennelly was hospitalized, featured a story of Carey coming out about her struggles with mental illness.
“That’s what turned me on,” said Fennelly. “I didn’t want to accept my problems and run away or hide.”
Fennelly will highlight his passion for sharing his experiences with those who need encouragement to deal with them as part of his keynote address at the Story County Expo.
Over 20 community and university resource vendors will also have booths providing information about the services they offer.
The free event offers prizes, refreshments, a scavenger hunt, and free parking in the Memorial Union parking lot.
Ronna Faaborg is in charge of business and arts at the Ames Tribune. Please contact her at email@example.com.