Utilize Sport Psychology and Proactive Mental Health Care This Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Premier Sport Psychology is committed to uplifting student-athletes with proactive mental health care. Sports reflect the challenges and triumphs of life, and mental resilience plays a crucial role in athletic performance. Mental health is the foundation of mental performance and the United States is currently facing a significant mental health challenge. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of burnout, anxiety, and depression have increased. According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 6 youth (ages 6-17) live with a mental health condition.

Navigating this transformative period of life, young individuals and college students are experiencing heightened mental health concerns. The latest NCAA Student-Athlete Well-Being survey reveals that rates of mental exhaustion, anxiety, and depression have remained 1.5 to two times higher than before the pandemic. CDC data also indicates that over a third of high school students faced mental health challenges during the pandemic, with many still grappling with feelings of sadness and hopelessness.

Reversing these trends requires fostering open conversations about mental health while equipping young people with proactive mental wellness strategies and resources. Building a brighter future starts with identifying signs of mental stress and connecting student-athletes with necessary resources. 

Dr. Justin Anderson, psychologist and founder of Premier Sport Psychology, offers four key symptoms to look out for that may indicate a student-athlete is struggling with their mental health:

1. Withdrawal from social activities: Noticeable changes in a teenager's social habits, such as disinterest in spending time with friends/family, or participating in activities they once enjoyed, may signal a mental health concern.

2. Changes in mood or behavior: Sudden mood swings, increased irritability, or uncharacteristic outbursts of anger or sadness can be indicators of an underlying mental health issue. Persistent feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness are also warning signs.

3. Decline in academic or athletic performance: A significant drop in grades or disinterest in schoolwork or sport participation may indicate that a student-athlete is struggling with mental health challenges. Lack of concentration, motivation, or focus in class or sport can also be red flags.

4. Changes in sleep or appetite: Unexplained alterations in sleep patterns, such as insomnia or excessive sleeping, as well as fluctuations in appetite, like overeating or loss of appetite, can be signs of mental health concerns in student-athletes.

Supporting student-athletes is essential as they continue to adapt to the post-COVID era. They can flourish with the right guidance and encouragement. Attached are compiled resources for proactive mental health care to raise awareness and continue the conversation about mental health. 

For more information or to get help for a student-athlete, visit premiersportpsychology.com. For media requests of Dr. Anderson or another one of Premier Sport Psychology's licensed psychologists, contact David Youngs at dyoungs@premiersportpsychology.com.

Source: Premier Sport Psychology

About Premier Sport Psychology

One of the nation's leading sport psychology companies. Premier serves athletes ranging from youth to professionals and Olympians as well as businesses, front offices, and coaches.

Premier Sport Psychology
7401 Metro Blvd , #510
Edina, MN