A long fought marathon was won this week…
“The Power 5 conferences unanimously passed legislation Thursday at the NCAA convention requiring their schools to make mental health services and resources available for student-athletes.” -ESPN
This marks a huge turning point in college athletics; a long-awaited recognition of the mental health need in even our greatest college competitors.
One can only hope that this legislation is further clarified into concrete ‘action steps’ to build in available, athlete-specific services and support for athletes on campuses across the U.S. in the very near future.
To put this in perspective, the Power 5 conferences include the ACC, BIG 10, BIG 12, PAC-12, and SEC conferences; basically, all the teams you ever watch on College Football Playoffs or March Madness.
This is big time sport making a big time public stance on mental health.
Truth is, athletes’ exist in microcosms of society; they face constant social and performance pressure, high-stakes decision making, physical and mental challenges, and personal anxieties daily that wear down resilience to life stressors.
Athletes’ live in environments that continually demand that they jeopardize physical health: “put it all on the line,” and mental health: “don’t give up, play on,” without support… until, hopefully, now…
Wellness in sport is very much a privilege, not a right.
While this new legislation is very exciting amongst college sport stakeholders, we too can learn, as a society, from this public request for increased mental health service and attention.
Society has long esteemed athletes’ as an ‘untouchable breed,’ ‘elite,’ ‘fierce,’ and ‘strong.’ And, while that’s all true--- athletes are also human, susceptible to the same stress, hurt, trauma and grief that life presents to almost every individual, at varying degrees and stages, throughout life.
This week, the Power 5 conferences confirmed that mental health must be core to optimal sport performance in our most elite college competitors. Let’s expand this message to: mental health must be core to optimal function for every human being in society.
Mental health must be core to optimal function for every human being in society.
We may not all be athletes, but we sure can compete for a life that’s happy, healthy, and worth living.
If you are in need of mental health support, or a mind body wellness routine, come visit us at Wellman Psychology & Associates today.