Hudsonville native Michaela Kovacs is a senior on Michigan State University's women's soccer team. Kovacs has dealt with mental health and depression issues since her freshman year in high school.

Now, she is sharing her story to help others.

As mental health issues continue to gain more time in the public eye, Michaela Kovacs' story is an important one both for those dealing with the same issues and for the general public to help gain a better understanding of what it means to have depression.

Kovacs has always been a standout soccer player. She won a national championship on the club level. Twice, she took part in US Soccer U-19 national team camps. She started all 18 games as a freshman at MSU and has twice been named a captain for the Spartans.

Through all of those accomplishments, Kovacs was dealing with depression. She says "the feeling of no one around me wants me here" hit her harder in college.

With tears in her eyes, Kovacs' mother talks about the phone call she received when Michaela hit rock bottom. She shares how that moment led to support from those around her and how she's "proud of the journey that Michaela has taken." Her coaches talk about Michaela's bravery as she was willing to be vulnerable and have the strength to come forward to ask for help.

Kovacs says "even though it feels like a blanket of weight on you, it shouldn't hold you back. You don't have to stay weighted down."

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Anyone in emotional distress is encouraged to call. You do not have to be suicidal in order to use the free service. Help is available 24/7.

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