Suicides in College Sports Put Focus on Mental Health and Those Trying to Make Difference

Oregon State soccer standout Nathan Braaten was spending a July 4 holiday doing what a lot of college students do — making some extra money.

He and teammate John Chambers were finishing up the painting of a house they had been working on for several days. They talked about a lot of things, including the possibility of a skiing trip in the near future.

Hours later Chambers, 19, took his own life. It was Braaten who found him.

Braaten was still processing the loss of a friend from his hometown in Colorado, who had taken his own life six months earlier. It made this second death a soul-crushing blow. Like the first case, Braaten didn’t see a warning sign.

“I had no idea, zero inclination anything was wrong,” Braaten said. “It goes to show, you never know what someone might be dealing with or how they might be feeling.”

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