Athletes and Mental Health
The world’s athletes are converging on Japan for the Olympics. Elite athletes have to be mentally tough when it comes to competition on the world stage. But they aren’t exempt from pressures that trigger mental health issues. The same is true of student-athletes at the college level. In this report, we look at the support Huskers receive to enhance personal well-being.
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[00:00:02.370]Student athletes balance the demands
[00:00:04.450]of their sport and their academics,
[00:00:06.820]but anxiety and depression can take a toll.
[00:00:10.060]Husker sports psychologist Brett Haskell says
[00:00:13.000]athletes can be reluctant to ask for help.
[00:00:16.080]In the world of sport because it's, you know,
[00:00:18.470]kind of has such a tough attitude and tough exterior,
[00:00:22.250]athletes have hidden the fact that they struggle
[00:00:25.350]with mental health conditions and have been less likely
[00:00:27.620]to go seek support from mental health providers
[00:00:30.570]than the general public.
[00:00:32.110]That's why Haskell and a team
[00:00:33.690]of psychologists are part of Husker Athletics.
[00:00:37.060]We really want to decrease stigma by making
[00:00:40.330]this seem like a very normal part
[00:00:41.920]of being a high level performer,
[00:00:43.542]taking care of your brain is a normal part
[00:00:45.830]of being a high level performer.
[00:00:47.570]Husker sports psychologist Mariah Bullock
[00:00:50.090]played professional soccer and was part
[00:00:52.370]of a national championship soccer team at Stanford.
[00:00:55.620]She knows firsthand about the pressures student athletes are
[00:00:58.870]under on and off the field.
[00:01:01.200]There's also the pressures of figuring out who you are
[00:01:05.380]and where you fit in the world.
[00:01:07.440]In college, there are social pressures of dating
[00:01:10.398]and making friends.
[00:01:13.410]Even young student athletes can struggle
[00:01:15.730]with anxiety and other issues.
[00:01:17.750]Parents can help by separating the sport from the child.
[00:01:21.700]And so them understanding that, you know,
[00:01:24.660]I'm so proud of you for doing this hard thing,
[00:01:27.120]for working hard at it,
[00:01:28.360]but also I just love you and you're a great person.
[00:01:30.922]And whether you have sport in your life or not, you know,
[00:01:34.491]we think you're awesome.
[00:01:36.530]From wellbeing on the field and in class
[00:01:38.970]to dealing with social media,
[00:01:40.850]Haskell and Bullock help student athletes find balance.
[00:01:44.900]We're working together not only to alleviate suffering
[00:01:48.879]and deal with difficult things, but to then again,
[00:01:52.400]from a competitive level,
[00:01:53.510]compete and perform at the best level that you can.
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