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STATISTICS

From the NCAA Student-Athlete Well-Being Study from the Fall 2021:

  • Fewer than half (47%) of the respondents felt they would be comfortable personally seeking support from a mental health provider on campus

  • 94% of respondents that participated in a women’s sport reported they felt overwhelmed by all they had to do.

  • 88% felt mentally exhausted

  • 72% felt overwhelming anxiety. 

 

Why are student athletes' mental health important?

Taking time for mental health is especially crucial for athletes because of the additional pressures they face that isolate them from others. There is so much pressure to perform at the highest level everyday. They are balancing their sport with academics, weightlifting, clubs, and their social life all at once. Studies show that lower levels of self esteem are seen in athletes due to fixating their identity within their sport/performance. In addition to this, athletes have been associated with having greater risks for depression, anxiety, social anxiety, and negative physical symptoms, all of which affect performance, bringing them down a larger spiral. Too many athletes are taught that being mentally tough means never showing weakness, failure, or admitting you're not okay. This stigma within sports culture needs to be broken. Too many athlete lives have been lost due to this silent crisis.

JOURNAL PROMPTS FOR FELLOW ATHLETES

  • Who are you outside of your sport?

  • Write about a time your mental health has affected your performance.

  • How does toxic positivity relate to us in athletics? How can it stunt your growth?

  • What are things you want to improve on mentally? What are your goals whether they are athletic based, wellness, or personal growth?

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