On November 1, 2019, I had to opportunity to speak at the MEAC conference to students leader athletes from 11 different universities surrounding ways to identify mental health concerns and symptoms with their teammates.
For those that may or may not know the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) is a collegiate athletic conference whose full members are from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the Southeastern and the Mid-Atlantic United States.
I was able to provide the students with resources and a few coping skills. I went over my time and the students had so many great questions and were so engaged. I felt honored and humbled to be able to share my knowledge and was happy that everyone was so opened. Also I had the opportunity to meet the commissioner of the MEAC!
Did you know that :
•14% of college students have been treated for depression before entering college.
•27% of 18- to 24-year old's have a diagnosable mental illness. (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
•Mental health is a vital part of the success of student-athletes, but in a ten-year time frame, 477 athletes died from suicide (Velasco, 2017).
•According to the National Protection of Student-Athlete Mental Health article student-athletes are more susceptible to depression and suicidal ideals than their non-athlete peers (Born, 2017).
•Lack of knowledge about services for mental health is a significant barrier for athletes. If they don’t know where to seek help, they are less likely to do so.
A huge part of my job as a therapist is to help individuals identify coping skills and feel safe expressing their concerns.
Latoya Nicole Edwards, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, passionate about bridging the gap of holistic practices and mental health