The stadium will be decked out in green, the official color of mental health awareness, with banners, streamers, hair bows and sidewalk chalk messages to inspire and encourage everyone.
“Mental health means a lot to our program because it affects each one of us every day,” senior madi crowbar said. “We believe it can save lives. As a student-athlete, you are often asked to put on a tough face and play your sport, but life can get in the way of that sometimes. We strive to create a culture on our team that gives people permission to struggle and permission to say they’re having a bad day because true healing and growth can come from that.”
As part of Tar Heels Mental Health Awareness Night, two local mental health organizations, CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services at UNC) and Morgan’s Message, will set up end zone tables next to the scoreboard.
According to The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, 73 percent of students experience some type of mental health crisis in college, but only 25 percent of students with a mental health problem seek help.
“We want the community that gives us endless love and support to know that we love them and care about their well-being,” Pry said. “We also want to encourage people to have real, vulnerable conversations with one another. The more willing we are to show ourselves, the more loved, connected, and supported we can feel.”
In addition, UNC will provide balloons for fans to inflate and tie to the fence surrounding the stadium. Fans are invited to decorate the balloons to recognize and honor someone who has lost their life to suicide or experienced mental health struggles.
Videos and PSAs from the women’s soccer team will play throughout the night.
“By celebrating a night like this, we hope to break down the stigmas around mental health,” Pry explained. “Stigmas spread when we don’t talk about mental health and its importance. By telling the stories of the battles we have survived, we hope they can inspire others to keep fighting.
“While we can’t fix someone else’s mental health, we can be with them, showing compassion and love.”
Tickets are available at goheels.com. Reserved seats can be purchased for $10 and general admission tickets are available for $8. Discounted tickets are also available through group tickets. UNC employees get free access for themselves and their immediate family (total limit of four) to regular season games at Dorrance Field by showing their UNC One Card or UNC Hospitals ID at the gate of the athletic facility, based on availability.
Aside from mental health awareness initiatives, Thursday’s game will also include giveaways of UNC 2022 women’s soccer schedule jerseys.
Season tickets are on sale at goheels.com, starting at $64 for general admission and $80 for reserved seats. Special rates are available for UNC faculty and staff members who wish to purchase reserved seats by contacting the UNC Athletics Box Office. Season ticket holders receive access to the McCaskill Building for an up-close look at Carolina Soccer’s historical excellence and achievements and will also be invited to join host Freddie Kiger as he speaks with the legendary head coach. Anson Dorance about this year’s team, previous seasons, and his journey at the helm of Carolina Soccer.