All-American Runner Erin Finn Highlighted in Video About Recurring Injury, Mental Health and Identity Beyond Sports

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Athletes Connected, a University of Michigan collaborative program between the Depression Center, Intercollegiate Athletics and School of Public Health, on Wednesday unveiled the second of three videos that address student-athletes coping with injury and the impact on mental health.

In this installment, U-M long distance runner and nine-time All-American Erin Finn details how she twice faced injury at the height of her athletic success in college. While her first stress fracture took her away from a top-ranked cross country team, the second one derailed her chances for a junior season and a trip to the 2016 Olympic Trials.

Finn details her initial feelings of being depressed and wanting to escape the sadness. Ultimately, her time with a campus ministry program, Athletes in Action, allowed her to realize that, “If my best is not good enough, it does not mean I am not good enough as I am someone who runs, not merely a runner.”

Finding purpose in something outside her sport helped Finn redefine who she was beyond running. That revelation has made all the difference in her recovery, which she made complete by competing last week in the Wolverine Invitational, the inaugural meet at the U-M Indoor Track Building. Finn ran fourth in the invitational mile in 4:40.17, which was less than two seconds off her personal best (4:38.35).

Finn and her fellow Wolverine student-athletes are set to compete in the Simmons-Harvey Quad against Ohio State, Michigan State and Arkansas on Saturday.

About Athletes Connected

Formed in 2014 on an NCAA pilot grant by a collaboration of University of Michigan Depression Center, Athletics and School of Public Health, Athletes Connected actively works to provide student-athletes with the tools and resources possible to overcome mental illness. Athletes Connected does this by promoting awareness of mental health issues, reducing the stigma of help-seeking and promoting positive coping skills among student-athletes. To learn more about the program, view the entire catalog of videos, read original stories and access helpful resources, visit