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The cultural stigma related to mental illness and those seeking mental health services is pervasive. Suicide tends to rate as the second or third highest cause of death for student-athletes, according to Robert Hilliard, a West Virginia University doctoral student. Hilliard is using an NCAA grant to examine the role that stigma plays in student-athletes’ attitudes toward seeking help for mental health services.
Quotes and Comments
“Student-athletes are unique in the pressures they experience, even if they aren’t participating at the Division I level. The combination of demands to perform and expectations to do well in other areas of their lives can create a fertile ground for needing to seek mental health services.”
“Approximately one third of student-athletes meet the criteria for anxiety or depression. In a study at one school, more than two thirds of the student-athletes reported poor mental health had impacted their athletic performance in the month leading up to the study.” – Robert Hilliard, doctoral student, College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences
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Current and potential student-athletes
School counselors and administrators
Mental health professionals
CONTACT: Kimberly Cameon,
College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences
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