Haley Cummins

May is Mental Health Awareness month, a subject that sophomore lacrosse player Haley Cummins is passionate about and drives her desire to one day help people struggling.

This article discusses mental health. For more information about the importance of mental health and to access mental health resources, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

What has Title IX allowed you to accomplish as a female student-athlete?

Title IX has empowered me and my teammates by giving us space and giving opportunities for us as women to take and run with them.

What’s something you’re passionate about outside of athletics?

 I’m really passionate about mental health and psychology in general, understanding the brain and understanding the way that we all work.

I want to end up working with inmates and young children and people that are really struggling and didn’t have the opportunity to understand mental health. So I want to help them and teach them that it’s okay to be yourself, it’s okay to not be the same as your friend or the same as your mom, your dad. Everybody’s different, everybody struggles and needs to work through their issues and their problems in their own ways.

I struggled for a really, really long time with mental health. My parents were super supportive and they did the best that they possibly could, but it just wasn’t something that they were raised on or brought up with. And especially with my sport now (lacrosse) and soccer when I was younger, I had a really, really hard time mentally.

I would fault with myself and my dad pushed me really, really hard. So when I started going to therapy and I started learning about mental health, it was something that I thought was so interesting. I could finally understand myself and I want to help others be able to feel the same way.

Do you know what you want to do with that in the future?

I want to be a jail psychiatrist and work with inmates. Hopefully even working with mental institutions or at schools or anything like that, maybe even my own private practice. I just really want to work on the mental health aspect of it, not so much the court aspect. I generally just want to help people.

You’ve shown an interest in working with younger athletes. What drew you to help train younger girls?

I worked with my lacrosse trainer awhile back training a lot of younger girls and I thought it was just so fun. I kind of remembered the way that I felt when I was younger and I was learning, my dad was really pushing my brother to play lacrosse. And I was like, “Hey, what about me?!”

I really like working with younger girls and seeing how excited they get when they are able to catch for the first time or they’re able to pick up a ground ball. It’s very rewarding.

How has Women In Flight given you a more fulfilling experience as a student-athlete?

Women In Flight helps us with team bonding, specifically they took us to Loon Lake. We also have different games for supporting Women In Flight and our coach has encouraged us to be a part of it and said we’re all going through this type of thing together and it’s encouraged all of us to be bonded in that way. It creates a healthier and a more inviting environment.

Do you have a favorite element of Women In Flight that you’ve been able to experience?

I really like meeting people. I would not have met a lot of the people that I did, either through like SAAC or the Women In Flight meetings. I’ve met a ton of other athletes and especially female athletes that I don’t think I ever would have met. So it creates a really cool way to meet new people.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

My mom, when I was in middle school, went through breast cancer and it was really difficult for me. And I was able to overcome that, I feel like I took care of her a lot and it made me really close with her. But it also helped me in a way. It was a way for me to support myself mentally while also supporting my mom.

So that was a really, really difficult time for me, especially since I was in middle school. I was trying to figure myself out, and it helped me learn that I wanted to take care of people and help people that I care about.

What have you learned from playing sports and how has that helped you navigate other obstacles in your life?

Playing sports is a very mental thing. Yes, it’s also physical, but it’s all a mental game. My parents have told me multiple times, it’s how you think about it, it’s mental. Getting down on myself after practice is not going to help me.

I have to take things just like I do in life. If I get a bad grade on a test, you just have to move on and you have to accept it. And, you know you’re going to grow from it. It’s the type of thing where you just take the failures and empower yourself. Life goes on and it all moves on. It’s not as serious as you may think it is.

Who is your mentor?

My mentor is one of my old trainers. Growing up, I was one of her first that she trained. She graduated from the University of Maryland. She was there for me and I still talk to her this day and I’ve been working with her since I was in elementary school.

She made her own business. She’s trains girls and she went to school for nutrition. She’s very independent so I look up to her a lot. Even if I don’t train with her all the time anymore, she still keeps up with me and I hope that I can be that for somebody else.


May is Mental Health Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please refer to the below resources for help. If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or need someone to talk to, please take action now by calling 1-800-273-8255 or by visiting