Kate Fagan is a noted columnist and feature writer for espnW, espn.com and ESPN, the Magazine. She’s also the co-host of her new podcast, Free Cookies, which she shares with her girlfriend and internationally acclaimed yoga teacher, Kathryn Budig.

Now, Kate Fagan can add yet another accomplishment to her biography. Her latest book, “What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen,” comes out on August 1, and it’s sure to make a deep impression on anyone who reads it.

Behind the tragic ending of a young athlete

“What Made Maddy Run” tracks the story of Madison Holleran, or Maddy, as her friends and family called her.

She grew up in New Jersey, playing soccer and running. As she grew older, she decided to focus on track and was eventually recruited by an Ivy League school, the University of Pennsylvania.

There she ran track, and although her life seemed to be completely normal, she began to struggle during the first semester of freshman year. Mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, began to worsen. And during her second semester, she committed suicide.

What made Kate Fagan cover this story?

Maddy’s suicide shook the world of college athletics. Kate, who was working with espnW at the time of Maddy’s death, decided to cover the story with a compassionate perspective with her editorial piece, “Split Image” in May 2015.

In it, she tackled common issues facing College Athletes, such as perfectionism, as well as the pressures of social media.

After “Split Image” received such a powerful, public response, Fagan realized that Maddy’s story still had a lot to give, not only to college athletes, but to young adults. So, she spent several years researching not only Maddy’s story, but the challenging and sensitive topic of suicide.

As it turns out, Maddy’s suicide actually serves as a powerful segway into a much-needed conversation.

A deeper problem with college sports

College life is challenging, and when students suffer with mental health issues, the struggles they face within the college experience are only intensified. Fagan herself struggled as a young athlete in college, and had to come face to face with issues like perfectionism and competition.

Therefore, she understood the context of Maddy’s struggle, even if she herself never struggled with mental health issues.

In fact, upon completion of this book, Fagan believes that mental health is, in fact, a privilege. And for this reason, Fagan believes that athletic departments need to develop a more balanced approach to athletic wellness, where there are equal resources for both the physical and the mental health of collegiate athletes.

Not only about suicide

While Fagan was very respectful in dealing with the ever-changing ethics of writing about suicide, this book isn’t just a story about suicide. Instead, “What Made Maddy Run” answers questions and also starts a much-needed conversation around issues of mental health, suicide and self-harm, especially within the world of college athletes and young people.