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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

Michigan Student-Athlete Mental Health Project Making Immediate Impact; Launches Video Series

Mental health concerns among student-athletes are not new but recent high-profile suicides and testimonies from former college athletes and some who play professional sports have helped bring attention to the issue.

The Athletes Connected pilot project, funded by an NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice Grant, is a collaboration between the University of Michigan School of Public Health, U-M Depression Center and U-M Athletic Department. Its goal is to increase awareness of mental health issues, reduce the stigma of help-seeking, and promote positive coping skills among student-athletes who are often reluctant to seek help when it comes to mental health.

Eisenberg
[Photo: Dr. Daniel Eisenberg]

“One in three students experiences significant symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions. Yet only about 30 percent of those students seek help, and that number drops to 10 percent for student-athletes,”  said Dr. Daniel Eisenberg, associate professor of health management and policy at U-M SPH and principal investigator on the project.

The pilot project includes development of a program to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and to encourage student-athletes to seek help if needed. A video series featuring student athletes has been launched, as well as drop-in support groups for student-athletes, which are designed to specifically address their unique concerns and stressors.  To view the videos, visit http://www.sph.umich.edu/mentalhealth.

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