#LIFESaver Families

#LIFESaver Families Profile: Morgan Dupe Rodgers

What is your loved one’s full name: 
Morgan Dupe Rodgers

What was their date of birth & their age at the time of their passing?
May 27, 1997; 22 years-old

Tell us about your loved one: What five adjectives best describe the positive they brought to this world, that now shines on in how they impacted you and all those they touched?
Determined, talented, compassionate, smart, athletic, hilarious

To the extent that you feel comfortable, please tell us what you believe were the circumstances/contributing factors around your loved one’s passing.
We believe a career ending injury was a contributing factor to her mental health struggles. Her role and contributions to the team were unclear and her identity was wrapped up in her sport in college. Before college her world seemed bigger, but competing at this higher level monopolized her experiences and reduced her world to simply a lacrosse player. 

What did you as a family wish you knew more about this topic in the year’s leading up to your loss?
We didn’t know anything about mental health before this. It was a topic that we really didn’t talk about – not because we avoided it, but because it just didn’t come up. Mental health struggles can be invisible, and they can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter how you were raised, the food you ate or the stability in your childhood. I guess we just thought mental health struggles could be prevented like physical injuries. Some can, but sometimes they’re inevitable. 

Why did your family decide to go public about your loss, and why are you choosing to be so selfless in putting their/your story out there for others?
Morgan was an all-American girl next door. She had a solid, stable family life, lots of friends, lots of interests, and loved all sports. If mental health complications can happen to her, they can happen to anyone. It is clear to all who knew her, she would want us to try and prevent another family’s pain. The stigma that surrounds mental health complications (and illness) is what prevents others from getting the help they deserve. It’s what prevented Morgan. By sharing Morgan’s story, we are attempting to normalize the conversation so others can easily ask for help – remove any barriers. 

What are the perceptions about suicide you would like your loved one’s story to help change?
Suicide is often misunderstood. It is not an attention-seeking action. It is not selfish. It is not a choice. It is not a crime. It is a devastating result of mental health complications leading to an illness. Sometimes it is a result of an untreated illness, sometimes an unsuccessfully treated illness. Either way it is important to realize that although it may seem an avoidable outcome, sometimes it is not. The correct term is “died by suicide,” not “committed”. You would never accuse someone of committing cancer.

Links and/or descriptions to any resources you would like to drive people to:

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