Nov 18, 2020
Cal State Fullerton Trainer Addresses Mental Health Awareness Among Athletes

Jaime Potter, the interim head athletic trainer at Cal State Fullerton, knows the importance of maintaining one’s mental health during the student-athlete experience — especially during a pandemic.

In a recent interview with The Daily Titan, Potter opened up about the importance of educating everyone in the athletic department in regards to student-athletes and their mental health.

mental health
Photo: Big West Conference / Creative Commons

“It’s not just educating student-athletes; it’s educating coaches, administration, my staff, and academics, that we have a better understanding of how to help and what to do,” Potter said to The Daily Titan.

He went on to tell the Titan that for many student-athletes, the sport in which they participate is often the only outlet they have, something that could be detrimental, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, he added that spreading awareness about mental issues is just one way the athletic department is attempting to break the stigma of college student-athletes having mental toughness.

According to a survey conducted by Athletes for Hope, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to encouraging athletes’ engagement with their communities, 33 percent of all college students experience significant symptoms of mental health issues. The survey also concluded that among that 33 percent, roughly 10 percent of college student-athletes actually seek help.

» ALSO SEE: Survey — NCAA Coaches Satisfied with Athletic Trainers

Dr. David Mitchell, a licensed psychologist and member of the Cal State Fullerton’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), has teamed up with Potter to make mental health awareness on the same level as physical health.

“It’s all health. I know that in society it hasn’t been looked that way. Some of us have been told that you just deal with it on your own, you just keep quiet about it, and we’ll just keep that in house. We’re breaking free from that. We are seeing the opportunity to be healthier and better, and that helps us whether we’re just a student, a student-athlete or a professional. We can all be heading in that direction rather than suffering in silence,” Mitchell said The Titan.

To read the full story from The Daily Titan on Cal State Fullerton’s athletic department raising the awareness of mental health issues, click here

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