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October 5, 2021

Webinar: The Silent Struggle – Mental Health of College Athletes

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LRT Sports partnered with the Drake Group to host a webinar on the mental health of college athletes. The webinar, moderated by Emmett Gill Ph.D., MSW, LMSW and founder of AthleteTalk, hosts the following expert panelists:

SHAMAREE BROWN, B.S., M.S: Director/Student-Athlete Programs and Compliance, Athletic Coast Conference (ACC)
DANIEL CHUNG, Psy.D: Sports Psychologist, Rutgers University Athletics
ABIGAIL EILER, MSW, LMSW-Clinical, QMHP: Assistant Athletic Director, Director of Athletic Counseling, Chief Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer, University of Michigan Athletics
BRAD HAMBRIC, LPC, LCAS-A, NCC, BC-TMH: Clinician and Licensed Professional Counselor, University of Georgia Athletics
NIKKI MOORE, B.S., M.A., Ph.D: Vice President and Athletic Director, Psychologist, Colgate University
CHARLES SMALL, B.A., MSW. Ed.D: Senior Associate Athletic Director for Student Services, Iowa State University 

The panelists discuss the mental health of college athletes from every angle, including the impacts of race, gender, NIL, social media, and the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health. They answer the following questions, as well as a list of audience questions:

“What are some top issues in mental health and wellness that you see in college athletes?”

“Where do mental health and learning disabilities intersect?”

“What is the relationship between mental health and gender/ethnicity?”

“What are some barriers to providing and accessing mental health services?”

“How can you [the panelists] stay motivated to practice their own mental wellness in addition to advocating for athlete mental wellness?”

Finally, the panelists offer some best practices to improve athlete mental wellness: 

“I used to use the conference room… to set up basic stuff that… guys typically like to do. So, I set up a PlayStation; I had cards and all types of board games, so each and every group, we had a different activity… What I found was that in the middle of a Madden game, they were more likely to open and talk about what’s going on in their personal lives.

“I would hope that one day we can get to a place where… we have something like meditation rooms. When I worked in the college counseling center, we had an emotional support dog that roamed about, and when students came in it just brightened their day to pet the dog… The environment is important” – Daniel Chung Psy. D.

Watch the video for the panelists’ take on these topics, and stay tuned for follow-up questions the panelists are answering from audience members.