Health & Wellness Consortium (HAWC) Announced To Combat Teen Suicide

Emma

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

A month to the day since the body of 13-year-old Emma Pangelinan of the OC Batbusters organization was found at a park in Mission Viejo, California, and ruled a suicide, a collection of the top influencers in softball have announced the formation of the Health and Wellness Consortium (HAWC) to help develop national and local strategies to increase awareness of health and wellness education for players, parents, and coaches.

Mike Stith, leader of the OC Batbusters organization, is collaborating with the softball community to create long-term change in health and wellness for the sport.

"This tragedy will be the impetus for change," Stith said. "We are coming together with a common goal of raising the standards in the areas of health and wellness for our families to better enjoy their softball experience."

These significant contributors include Jen Schroeder of The Packaged Deal; Tony Rico of the Firecrackers organization; Stith and Tim Shockey with the OC Batbusters; Dr. Casey Cooper, a subject matter expert in counseling youth; and Dr. Suzy McNulty, a pediatrician.

"There is an important message we need to share regarding developing our student-athletes’ self-worth: ‘Perfection is not only not attainable, but dangerous. Perfection should not be the goal; rather, their personal best,’” said McNulty, who is also a softball coach with two daughters who play the sport. 

The Health and Wellness Consortium has also confirmed interest and support from local USA Softball influencers and will reach out to all associations for their support.

One of those important governing bodies is Premier Girls Fastpitch (PGF) and its President, Dan Hay.

“I hope all associations will participate in this collaborative group," Hay said. "PGF is committed to our mission to provide relevant and accurate information to all families in health and wellness.”

The HAWC will work with all national associations, medical experts, administrators, coaches, and players. The leaders of the Health and Wellness Consortium say they will have a long-term strategy with a multi-phased rollout.

The Health and Wellness Consortium has revealed a four-step action plan:

1. Identify relevant and accurate education.
2. Provide a standardized framework for local communities to disseminate information.
3. Develop a national calendar to tackle this multi-faceted issue through local events and online education services.
4. Educate the coaches and empower the players and parents to create the change on the local level.

It’s all critical, according to the HAWC leaders, that the information needs to be free to all families.

Teen suicide has become a nationwide epidemic and in Pangelinan’s home area, Orange County, the American Academy of Pediatrics — one of the organizations the HAWC will work with frequently — announced this month that suicide is the second-leading cause of death for young people ages 10-24.

According to licensed sports psychologist Casey Cooper, Ph.D., “The most recent data suggests 40 percent of youth identify as perfectionists and is a newly emerging risk factor when assessing for suicidal thoughts and behavior. Given the intensely competitive culture of athletics, it is critical to the safety of our adolescent athletes that we actively seek new ways to cultivate a culture of excellence for our parent and coaches.”

Tragically, this wasn’t just an isolated incident specific to the sport of softball.

Since Pangelinan’s death a month ago, there have been two additional teen suicides committed by well-known athletes in Orange County. In addition, there was a fourth suicide by a college football player from Orange County just prior to Pangelinan’s suicide.

The focus of the HAWC, according to its leaders, is to have it serve as a tool for everyone to use. It will be important to provide this information and strategies to implement the education for all families, free of charge.


By Brentt Eads

How To Watch: 2021 Easton Invitational

Get The FloSports Apps

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Here's how to watch the 2021 Easton Invitational on FloSoftball.

Oklahoma Softball Voted To The Top Of The 2021 Big 12 Preseason Poll

Olivia Rains, Oklahoma

For the ninth consecutive year, Oklahoma has been chosen as the favorite in the 2021 Big 12 softball preseason poll in a vote by the league’s head coaches. This marks the 12th occurrence in the last 13 years the Sooners have collected the honor.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Winning Habits: North Texas Softball Explains Roadmap To Growing Success

Get The FloSports Apps

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Growing up in Lawton, Oklahoma, University of North Texas head softball coach Rodney DeLong was a die-hard Oklahoma Sooners football fan. When he began coaching softball, DeLong, now in his third season with the Mean Green, looked up to Sooners head softball coach Patty Gasso. So it was only fitting that on February 29, 2020, DeLong would lead his team to victory over the school he rooted for as a boy while making history at the same time.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Texas' Miranda Elish Forgoes 2021 Softball Season Due To COVID Concerns

This Is Miranda Elish

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Texas senior pitcher/outfielder Miranda Elish announced that she will take the field in the 2021 season because of concerns about the ongoing pandemic. This news comes as a shock to many Longhorns fans who expected to see Elish this season.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

How Oklahoma State Softball Climbs Steadily Toward The Top

Oklahoma State Softball

During a recent staff meeting, Oklahoma State Director of Athletics Mike Holder was discussing the school’s spring season and the uncertainty that’s expected to come with it. At one point, he said something that particularly resonated with head softball coach Kenny Gajewski and his assistant coaches.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

How To Watch: 2021 Wildcat Invitational

Get The FloSports Apps

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Here's how to watch the 2021 Wildcat Invitational on FloSoftball.

How To Watch: 2021 Hillenbrand Invitational

Get The FloSports Apps

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Here's how to watch the 2021 Hillenbrand Invitational on FloSoftball.

Robby Wilson, NSR Scout Passes Away From COVID-19 Complications

null

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

We are deeply saddened to report that Robby Wilson, NSR Director of Scouting passed away this morning around 3:30 AM after a hard-fought battle with COVID-19.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

How To Watch: 2021 Judi Garman Classic

Get The FloSports Apps

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Here's how to watch the 2021 Judi Garman Classic on FloSoftball.

2020 Voted Best Dressed Club Softball Teams

2020 Best Dressed Club Softball

The votes are in! See the Top 10 Voted Best Dressed Club softball teams of 2020 that include teams from North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Illinois, and more.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In