Survey: Mental health still a concern for NCAA athletes

A survey of college athletes by the NCAA suggests that rates of "mental exhaustion, anxiety and depression remain as much as twice as high as pre-pandemic levels," but "feelings of hopelessness have improved," according to the AP. The study, which was a follow-up to two conducted in the fall of '20, released its results Tuesday. The data is based on input from "more than 9,800 respondents" and shows that mental health concerns "remain sharply elevated." The survey was conducted from Nov. 17-Dec. 13. The results show that 69% of women’s sports participants and 63% of men’s sports participants "agreed or strongly agreed that they know where to go on campus if they have mental health concerns." However, less than half of each said that they would "agree or strongly agree that they would feel comfortable seeking support from a mental health provider on campus." Since March 1, at least five athletes at NCAA member institutions have "died by suicide," highlighting the "growing need for awareness of services available on campus as students juggle the stresses of athletic competition, expectations, academics, a social life and plans for the future." Also, 55% of men and 47% of women "agreed or strongly agreed that mental health is a priority of their athletic department," and 59% of men and 50% of women "agreed or strongly agreed that coaches take mental health concerns seriously" (AP, 5/24).

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