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Sports Leaders Launch Campaigns Aimed at Improving the Wellness of Athletes

December 2, 2021 by Alexa Hornbeck
Sports Leaders Launch Campaigns Aimed at Improving the Wellness of Athletes

This week a new campaign called Teammates for Mental Health was launched by the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten and Pac-12 to promote better mental health of athletes.

Over the past four months, 10 working groups consisting of athletic coaches and school officials held conferences to determine the best practices for addressing the mental health and well-being of athletes across 41 institutions.

The working groups created a public service announcement to highlight the importance of taking time out for mental health as an athlete. The announcement aired on television during 28 recent men and women’s basketball games played from Nov. 29 through Dec. 2. 

Signs and lapel pins signaling the same message were also distributed to coaches to wear during the games. 

The initiative will also work to inform family members, teammates, friends and coaches about how to identify warning signs for understanding if an athlete is in a mental health crisis. 

The launch of the Teammates for Mental Health campaign also coincides with another initiative started this year by the World Health Organization called #REACHOUT, which is working with leaders from the International Federation of Association Football, known as FIFA, to provide multimedia toolkits for 21 FIFA member associations to keep athletes’ minds and bodies healthy.

According to research from FIFPRO, among active football players 23% report sleep disturbance, while 9% report depression and 7% suffer from anxiety. Among retired players, about 28% struggle to sleep and are depressed, with anxiety affecting 13% and 11% respectively. 

Alexa can be reached at [email protected] 

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