My name is Jaitesha Janeen Hanson. I am from Lexington. Kentucky, but have been living in Florida for quite some time now. I am truly grateful for my parents Lynelle and Reggie Hanson for putting me in great situations throughout my life and always supporting me. Also grateful for my older sister Sakia teaching me life lessons growing up.
I graduated from Seffner Christian Academy and due to playing basketball I was blessed to go to college on a full scholarship. That enabled me to get a BA in Psychology, Minor in Holistic Health, and a Graduate Certificate in Sports Management at the University of North Florida.
Currently, I am going after my Masters in Clinical Psychology and will follow that with a Ph.D. In Clinical Psychology as well.
Other than StayWhole being something I am extremely passionate about. I also have a huge love for writing and will be releasing books soon to share my story with everyone and hopefully help others to feel less alone in this journey of life.
Why was StayWhole created?
I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety by the end of my senior year in High School but went through most of growing up suffering from the symptoms and not understanding or knowing why. I was so low most of my life and wasn't necessarily consistent with my treatment plan and it dug me in a hole that was impossible to get out of.
It took for me to truly hit rock bottom in order to help myself and wholeheartedly accept my families support. From that moment on I began to grow personally and spiritually. This journey then fueled my passion for helping others who also was/has/is being impacted by mental health.
StayWhole is a mentor to the younger version of me. I wish I had someone to help me through times where I didn't understand. To be open to learning how to express myself and using that to communicate with me how I felt. StayWhole is the relationship everyone wish they had during times of misunderstanding. StayWhole is the awareness I wish I had on the subject of mental health. StayWhole is fulfilling my purpose in this world which I realized through my mental health journey.
My purpose is to be the light in the dark. To inspire, impact, and create unity. My purpose is to be that person everyone needed at some point in there life to uplift them when his or her mind is playing tricks on how great he or she is and will be. My purpose is to bring awareness to a subject that has for too long been overlooked. Mental Health impacts everyone, not just those suffering from a mental health illness.
My goal is to be a voice in the Mental Health community and to keep using it until I can't anymore.
"StayWhole was a movement first started at University of North Florida. Using my student-athlete platform I was able to host a Mental Heallth Awareness basketball game" -Jaitesha Janeen
The student-athletic community at times does not get the head nod they deserve. From the moment an individual decides to play sports and becomes serious about it their whole life changes. The demands of making good grades, team practices, individual training to work on your craft, and conditioning & weight training begins to play into your mental health. Add on life stress outside of your sport and now we have individuals who are more susceptible to having there mental health impacted.
My personal journey as a student-athlete opened my eyes to why an individual would get burned out, or resort to negative mechanisms to cope. We are not taught that it is okay to not be perfect and to be weak. Athletes from the moment they enter their sports are bred to show no weakness, and to detach from the things that keep them human.
I myself had a struggle with maintaining that "I am an athlete and everything is okay" mantra. I got tired of covering how I felt. Going to practices holding everything in when I was overwhelmed about how much homework I had, having anxiety about the test I just took, hurting because my boyfriend was mad at me, and tired because from 6 am in the morning to 11 pm at night I was on a set schedule. I had not been educated on how to handle all these emotions and I broke. I gave up basketball and a scholarship my sophomore year in order to get my mental health better.
It doesn't matter if you are on scholarship or not. You still have to balance your sport, education, relationships, friendships, and whatever else you have going on in your life. StayWhole was created to give this community a voice and bring attention to the fact that we are more than our sport. We need a healthy balance in our lives. We need to talk about our feelings. We need to be taught how to handle all situations and maintain a positive mental health balance. Too many stories have been released talking of athletes who seem so happy and never get into any trouble resorting to negative mechanisms and some have not woke up the next day.
Stay Whole's goal is to create programs within middle schools, high schools, and colleges tailored to athletes that will inform them on how to take care of their mental health with the high demand of their sport. They will learn skills that will better them in all areas of their life. We want to lower the risk of mental health instability in athletes and prevent these talented individuals from losing interest in what they love or breaking down and having no idea how to handle it.