UNCUT Madison launches 'Bettering Badgers'

NOW: UNCUT Madison launches ’Bettering Badgers’

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The University of Wisconsin's student-led media platform UNCUT Madison is shining the spotlight on mental health.

"We’re normalizing mental health conversations in sports," says UNCUT Madison co-founder Olivia Hancock. "Athletes have always been taught to be tough, be strong, you know, don't show emotions."

From Kevin Love and Simone Biles to Naomi Osaka and Calvin Ridley, world-class athletes are starting to talk about their mental health. Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year Dana Rettke took some time off two years ago.

"It was hard to talk about because I was this athlete that was at times unstoppable and I could just run through walls. I didn't take time for myself. I realized what I need to perform at my peak performance and have balance in my life."

Now she's hoping her experience can help others. UNCUT Madison is debuting a new video series called "Bettering Badgers," that they hope will show athletes in a different light.

Wisconsin basketball player Tyler Wahl says, "A lot of times athletes are looked at like oh, they're these superheroes. They have the life that everyone wants to have and that’s not necessarily always true.""

Hancock tells me, "I think there are so many kids in the Madison community who look up to their favorite Badger stars. They're going to be able to say oh, I can talk about mental health, too."

While the students lead the charge, the university is certainly providing resources to help their mental health. Wisconsin recently added a director of meditation training to their athletic staff. The only one in all of division one.


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