May 21, 2018A Listening Ear
In response to athletes suffering from sleep disturbance, anxiety, and depression after injury, Syracuse University athletics has added a full-time therapist to 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 Divisions 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 surveyed 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 [Atlantic Coast Conference] 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.’