MSU Lacrosse Team Laces Up For Mental Health Awareness

(WLNS) — Michigan State University students and fans never need an excuse to wear green, but Thursday night the men’s Lacrosse team sported the color from head to toe to bring awareness to mental health.

It’s not like the Chicken Pox, you can’t see Kyle Schutt’s illnesss but it’s there, and it didn’t cause this Michigan State student from Grand Rapids any problems until his “first” junior year.

“I proclaim myself a super junior because i had to take last year off because of my mental illness.” Says, Schutt.

The 20-year-old “super junior” was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder” in the fall of 2014.

“Life was going great for me. I was actually playing lacrosse for Michigan State, I just tried out for the team,” says Schutt.

He told 6 News Reporter Mariah Harrison that he started to become hyperactive, stopped sleeping, and had spent a majority of his savings.

It’s called Bipolar Mania.

In hindsight, Schutt recognizes those were clear symptoms of the disorder saying.

Schutt remembers the day his life changed, “My friends and family kind of came together, and I actually was in my bedroom one day and 3 police officers came to my door, and kind of took me against my will.”

He spent 17 days in a psychiatric hospital, and even celebrated his 21st birthday in the facility.

“Even at that time I didn’t think anything was wrong with me,” he told 6 News.

He says he initially fought his family on the issue, but looking back he says it’s because he truly didn’t realize it was happening.

“That’s what scary about mental illness, you would never know if it’s happening to you it’s so gradual,” Schutt added.

When asked his take on what friends and family should do if they suspect a loved one may be going through a similar situation Schutt advised “there’s going to be some push back…you know if people come and tell you there’s something wrong with you you’re going to get offended. Just be open to what they say.”

MSU Men’s Lacrosse team captain Mark Tratt, and Schutt’s former teammate added “ Support is big, and just treating them like nothing is different because really, it isn’t.”

Thursday marked the team’s home opener, and Saint Patrick’s Day.

Green is also the color used to spread awareness about mental health.

The team wore special green shoe laces with their uniforms Thursday, supplied by the Hope Network.

1 in 5 people live with a mental illness, and The Hope Network works to educate others and offer a voice to those who feel like other people can’t relate to them.

“ You feel like you have the biggest secret in the world, which was really tough for me because I’m a very social person, and feeling like I can’t talk to anybody about that was extremely difficult,” says Schutt.

He says his sit down with 6 News was his first interview about his struggle, and that these days he’s more willing to talk because he hopes talking about his most difficult time will make someone else’s struggle that much easier.

For more information on The Hope Network click here.

Bonus Video:




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