This week, U.S. Representatives Jerry Carl, R-AL, and David Trone, D-MD, introduced a bipartisan resolution to designate October 2-8, 2022, as National Student Athlete Mental Health Week.
Nearly eight million high school students are currently participating in athletics, and nearly half a million college students compete as National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletes. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for folks aged 15-24, and this disturbing trend is especially impacting our student athletes. Student athletes, especially those competing at the highest levels, are experiencing mental health issues including overwhelming stress, eating disorders, burnout, depression, and anxiety. These crises can lead to suicidal thoughts or even suicide if left untreated.
Endorsed by the NCAA, this resolution encourages colleges and universities to highlight mental health resources, address stigma, and promote the wellbeing of student athletes. National Student Athlete Mental Health Week would coincide with Mental Illness Awareness week.
“Student athletes across the country are experiencing above-average rates of mental health crises, and many of them do not seek professional help because of stigma and because many are unaware of the resources their campuses offer. I’m proud to work in a bipartisan manner to introduce this resolution to address this crisis by bringing awareness to it and fighting the stigma around mental health issues,” said Rep. Jerry Carl.
“Teens and young adults are bearing the brunt of our nation’s worsening mental health crisis, and student athletes remain especially vulnerable to these effects. I’m proud to introduce this resolution to promote action, fight stigma, and build awareness of the unique challenges student athletes face. They need to know: mental health is just as vital as physical health,” said Rep. David Trone.
The resolution is co-sponsored in the House by Representatives Adams, D-NC, Axne, D-IA, Bass, D-CA, Bustos, D-IL, Carter, R-GA, Carter, D-LA, Castor, D-FL, Dean, D-PA, Evans, D-PA, Fitzpatrick, R-PA, Gottheimer, D-NJ, Holmes Norton, D-DC, Lee, D-NV, McGovern, D-MA, Napolitano, D-CA, Ruppersberger, D-MD, Ryan, D-OH, Salazar, R-FL, Sewell, D-AL, Steel, R-CA, Trahan, D-MA, and Wild, D-PA.
The full text of the resolution can be found here.