Addressing Mental Health

May 3, 2018

In response to athletes suffering from sleep disturbance, anxiety, and depression after injury, Syracuse Athletics has hired a full-time therapist to join its sports medicine staff. Previously, the school made two part-time counselors available to athletes.

According to The Daily Orange, a 2016 survey of 21,000 athletes in NCAA Division I, II and III found that 30 percent of respondents felt “intractably overwhelmed," and a study that same year at Drexel University revealed that 24 percent of the 465 athletes suffered “clinically relevant” depressive symptoms. John Wildhack, Director of Athletics at Syracuse, said he realized there was a need for mental health professionals in athletics.

“Our mental health services were a direct result of input that we got from student athletes at ACC meetings and at the NCAA convention in 2017,” Wildhack said. “I came back and said, ‘We’ve got to provide more support services, more help in that area.’”

Robin Scholefield, a psychologist at the University of Southern California and its associate director of clinical and sport psychological services for athletics, said athletes often feel pressure to attend every practice and perform well for their team in an “achievement-based culture.” 

“Because college athletes are expected to play at such a high level of competition, especially in Division I, they have enormous pressure to perform and maintain their place on a team,” Ellen deLara, associate professor emerita in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, said. “This can help to create an atmosphere for them that promotes a lot of stress, which in and of itself can lead to anxiety and depression.”

Cory Wallack, director of Syracuse's Counseling Services, said he believed therapists should be easily accessible.

“Around the country, I think we’re on the front end of what’s about to be an explosion,” Wallack said. “You’re going to see a whole heap of specialists who are working with college student-athletes. The NCAA is treating mental health as a public health crisis at the level it needs to be treated.”

Brad Pike, Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Medicine, strongly encourages student-athletes to see the therapists.

“We’re trying to get to the point that mental health is just as important as physical health,” Pike said. “Or probably more important than physical health.”

SEARCH for Products
SEARCH for Vendors

A Rebounder With Versatility

Medicine ball exercises are a staple of many workout routines. Whether the goal is performance enhancement by strengthening the core or helping an athlete rehab from an injury, medicine balls are versatile piece of equipment that can get the job done. But most strength coaches and athletic trainers don’t have enough time available to catch … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Author and Strength Coach Mike Mejia Praises VersaClimber

“Over the course of the past twenty years I’ve trained hundreds of clients that run the gamut from average Joe’s to professional athletes and in all that time, I’ve never come across a cardio piece that comes anywhere near the Versa Climber!” says Mike Mejia M.S., CSCS, author of The Men’s Heath Better Body Blueprint, … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Indoor Pool Surface Solution

Mateflex has indoor pool surfacing that is safer and more enjoyable to walk on than concrete. Mateflex offers perforated tiles to allow water to drain through that can cover up old, unsightly concrete or just spruce up a new area with a colorful design. The interlocking tiles dry quickly while keeping your feet out of … CLICK TO READ MORE...

The Evolution of the Lifting Platform

The days of the above ground weightlifting platform may be a thing of the past. More and more high schools, colleges, and professional strength and conditioning facilities who are either building a new facility or renovating an existing facility are going away from the traditional above ground lifting platform and choosing the inlaid platform, which … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Teaching Principles: Neck Rotation

Coach Bill ‘Jake’ Jacobs goes back to the basic teaching principles with Neck Rotation. View his demonstration.  CLICK TO READ MORE...

VIEW MORE ARTICLES

Stay at the Top of Your Game!
x
Receive articles like this by signing up for our newsletters