The Relationship Between Student Athletes and Mental Health

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 3:24 PM EDT
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Caribou, Maine (WAGM) - Mental Health Affects Everyone, student athletes included. Whether its their athletic performance on the field or expectations from their peers and coaches, Student Athletes can have an uphill battle in terms of their mental health.

Amy Deprey: " There’s a lot of research and evidence that there’s a strong correlation between higher academic performance and our youth athletes, and there’s a lot of theories as to why this might be. Something as simple as when you engage in physical activity, your body releases endorphins that then leads to higher levels of concentration.

There have been many strides made in the betterment of student athlete mental health, but there is still much that can be done to improve it.

Carly Flowers: “I think athletes, there’s this big thing where you, your tough and you can’t show any weakness and that part of it i think is what needs to change, we need to change that conversation where its ok to seek help, its ok to talk to people, if your struggling, its ok to not be ok for a little while and to need assistance and need a kind of push in the right direction, i think that’s where we have to improve upon the most right now, its just making it acceptable to go seek help and to not be ok for a little bit”.

Factors that can affect these athletes in terms of mental health usually deal with winning or expectations brought upon them by family, peers, or even themselves.

Amy Deprey: " The pressure to win, I think we as a society put so much emphasis on the win loss as a predictor of success, that we don’t that really talk about all of the other aspects of participating in youth sports”.

Carly Flowers: " We expect perfection almost and I think that’s not attainable, and when athletes don’t attain those expectations, they are really negatively impacted because they take those things so seriously”.

One of the main messages Amy Deprey and Carly Flowers want everyone to know is even when you are down or feeling helpless and alone, there are always options out there.

Amy Deprey: " The biggest thing that they should do is to reach to a trustworthy adult, it might be a parent, it might be a aunt or a uncle, it could be a coach or a teacher, just be willing to ask for help and realize their worth a conversation”.

and There are help lines such as the NAMI Teen Text line, For those who might feel more comfortable talking over text. It is open 7 days a week, staffed by trained professionals from 12pm to 10 pm. The Number is 1-207-515-8398. There is also the Maine Crisis Line which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you just call 1-888-568-1112. Both says it’s important to continue this conversation as it can be hard to determine what someone is going through behind the scenes.

Jonathon Eigenmann, Newssource sports.

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