Former D1 athlete discusses mental health with student athletes

On April 10, Darryll Stinson kicked off Division III week with a mental health brief for Webster’s student athletes. Photo by Vanessa Jones.

Darryll Stinson is a former D1 athlete and mental health advocate. Stinson visited Webster University on April 10 to give a speech to student athletes about his experiences with mental health.

Stinson played as a defensive end for Central Michigan University. After he suffered a career ending back injury, he struggled with his mental health and attempted suicide.

“Ultimately, I crashed and burned,” Stinson said. He was in a psychiatric unit. His recovery process began as he dug into his faith. 

“I found faith in what I believe to be in Christ,” Stinson said. “That was a really big piece because up until that point I was agnostic. I didn’t really have that belief that my life has purpose.” 

His faith gave him something to dig into and chase after, according to Stinson. 

“I had a system of success, [and] I did have a system of self-care,” Stinson said. “That’s what led to the burnout. That’s what led to the identity crisis. So, I started to live my life with both systems intact.”

Stinson practices self-care through meditation, journaling, affirmations, declarations and seeing a counselor when needed. In his recovery, he hopes to help people through his speaking.

“I believe a lot of people suffer not just because they have a chemical imbalance in their body, but because they don’t know who they are [or] why they’re here,” Stinson said. “So the way that shows up is through depression and anxiety, through busyness, through burnout, etcetera.”

According to Stinson, he invested money into himself through podcasts, books, leadership experiences, coaching programs and courses. 

“My biggest desire is to make my life matter, which it does, but I just want to make a difference,” Stinson said. 

Stinson reflects on what he has learned.

 “My current season of life with speaking, leading and marketing, it really has taught me how to build a following, how to empower people to change their life, to improve their circumstances to live a happier, healthier, wealthier, to live with a greater degree of expression in their life,” Stinson said. 

According to Stinson, his early childhood experiences gave him the ability to connect with a diverse group of people and learned how to relate. From his own experiences, he educates others and offers support. 

“I want people to feel love and hope but also want them to know they have strategy and resources and tools within themselves and around them that can really support them to live their best life,” Stinson said. 


Share this post

Lauryn Pyatt
+ posts