Coaches are often the front lines to athletes' mental health. From the early stages of the recruiting process...to the hours of practice, competition, and all the time in between...coaches have a unique and personal understanding of their athletes. Therefore, it is helpful when coaches understand the resources that are available to allow their athlete to reach their maximum potential. A recent survey of NCAA coaches reported that 72% of them had positive experience with campus mental health care resources. Many report mental health care can both improve athletic performance, and help students reach their full personal potential.
How can coaches help?
- Maintain that extraordinary relationship you have with your athlete.
- Help reduce the stigma of mental health by talking about it and normalizing the need to take care of our minds. Be an ambassador for mental health.
- Use mental health resources on your campus to identify athletes who could use help, and refer them to appropriate resources.
- Make mental health information available when students arrive on campus.
A great source for mental health information here.
- Add yearly education/prevention activities to your team's season. This may consist of speakers for general as well as specific mental health topics (such as stress, study skills, depression, anxiety, eating concerns, or substance use).