Organizations and Athletes at All Levels
1 in 4 Project:External link:open_in_new This Chicago-based organization works to overcome the shame associated with mental health in sports by providing programs and workshops focused on self-advocacy, nutrition and more to athletes, their parents and the sports community.
Athletes Against Anxiety and Depression Foundation:External link:open_in_new The AAAD provides resources for those coping with mental issues in order to foster a community where everyone feels comfortable and unashamed to share their stories.
Athletes for Hope:External link:open_in_new This organization, which educates and connects athletes to charities around the world, provides athletes with suggestions on how to take action on mental health.
Association for Applied Sport Psychology:External link:open_in_new The AASP’s membership includes sport psychology consultants and professionals. Its site connects athletes, coaches and parents with information to help with the psychological component that affects performance.
BelievePerform:External link:open_in_new A global source of content on performance psychology, this website focuses on well-being and mental health for the sports community and provides free articles and videos on a broad range of topics for athletes of all levels. It also offers paid membership to access courses and training programs.
Beyond Sport:External link:open_in_new This global organization promotes social change through sports with various initiatives, including the Stay in the Game Network, a forum featuring leaders in sports, health care and social change. The forum explores the use of sports to promote mental wellness.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Brain Injury Basics:External link:open_in_new This CDC webpage provides information on signs, prevention and treatment of concussions.
Managing Stress in Sports: Quieting the Mind and the Body:External link:open_in_new The Anxiety and Depression Association of America provides a webinar that explores how to cope when a sport is becoming a stressor.
Recognize to Recover:External link:open_in_new U.S. Soccer’s comprehensive player health and safety program for all ages has a page with comprehensive lists of common mental health disorders among athletes, behaviors to watch for and best ways to approach a conversation about mental illness.
Road Runners Club of America’s Mental Health Tips for Runners:External link:open_in_new The oldest and largest national association of runners and running organizations provides a mental health guide with sections on common problems such as disordered eating, stress, anxiety and depression.
SportsPsych Works: External link:open_in_new The directory of fact sheets from the American Psychological Association’s Division 47 (Society for Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology)External link:open_in_new covers various topics such as masculinity, hazing, eating disorders and sports identity.
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Elite and Professional Athletes
Athlete 365:External link:open_in_new This initiative of the International Olympic Committee supports member athletes through a community that offers advice, service and tools on topics including mental health.
Athletes for Care: External link:open_in_new A nonprofit of former professional athletes, this organization advocates to improve the health of athletes with mental illness.
Mental Health Q&A with Olympians Natalie Coughlin, Maya DiRado and Sport Psychologist Sean McCann:External link:open_in_new USA Swimming filmed a video during the COVID-19 lockdown to address the mental health of competitive swimmers, touching on topics including how to be resilient using your skills as a swimmer.
MLB Mental Wellness:External link:open_in_new MLB’s resource page dedicated to mental wellness provides information about various mental health issues as well as resources for athletes and families including a 24/7 helpline.
National Basketball Players Association Mental Health and Wellness Program: External link:open_in_new NBA players have access to resources, referrals and best practices to maintain mental health.
NFL Life Line: External link External link:open_in_new Part of the NFL Total Wellness initiative,External link:open_in_new this website chat and confidential hotline (800-506-0078) connects current and former NFL players, coaches, team and league staff and family members to professional counselors who receive special training on NFL culture.
The Players’ Tribune Mental Health Awareness Collection: External link:open_in_new This media company provides athletes with a platform to publish personal stories, which include their mental health experiences.
Strength Over Silence: Tackling Mental Health Stigma: External link:open_in_new This video from the National Alliance on Mental Illness features Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Chris Hubbard talking about the importance of mental health care.
Team USA Athlete Services: External link:open_in_new The mental health–focused page created by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee offers member athletes information on how to access sports psychologists, unlimited phone counseling and other mental health resources.
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College and Secondary Athletes
Athletes Connected: External link:open_in_new This program developed by a collaboration between the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Depression Center, and Athletic Department conducts research and offers support to raise awareness about mental health issues, reduce the stigma of seeking help and promote positive coping skills among student athletes.
Eric Monday Foundation:External link:open_in_new Based in Virginia, this nonprofit organization helps athletes overcome the stigma of seeking mental health assistance and connects them to support organizations and professionals.
Helping Support Student-Athlete Mental Health (PDF, 1 MB):External link:open_in_new NCAA’s primer for stakeholders outside of athletics outlines approaches to help student athletes and athletic staff recognize mental health issues including disordered eating, mood disorders, depression, anxiety disorders and sleep disorders.
Hope Happens Here: External link External link:open_in_new A student-led movement with specific focus on student-athletes, this initiative promotes mental health awareness on college campuses via presentations and activities intended to break the stigma.
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Mental Health:External link:open_in_new NAIA’s site provides a number of mental health resources including “What’s Going on in Their Minds,” a slide presentation with downloadable talking points to assist presenters.
NCAA Sport Science Institute:External link:open_in_new NCAA Sport Science Institute’s central page on mental health provides educational resources, best practices, data and research, and information summits and task forces related to the topic.
Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention (PDF, 1.5 MB):External link:open_in_new This toolkit from the NCAA Sport Science Institute provides evidence-based approaches that athletic staff can use to address misuse of alcohol, marijuana and other substances.
Support for Sport: External link:open_in_newFunded by an NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice Grant, this online center helps athletes find information about mental health referrals.
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LEAD: Let’s Empower Advocate and Do:External link:open_in_new This student-founded nonprofit organization provides mental health education for middle school, high school and college athletes and athletic staff with topics specific to a competitive sports environment.
Mental Wellness in Sports:External link:open_in_new Psychology Today developed a series that features blog posts on showing appreciation and helping young athletes feel safe.
MindWise Innovations:External link:open_in_new This Massachusetts nonprofit partners with schools and communities on suicide prevention and connecting people with mental health resources.
Emotional Injuries Center:External link:open_in_new Part of the nonprofit MomsTeam Institute, this site offers information and expert advice on bullying, hazing and being cut from a team to ensure that sports are safe for children.
National Alliance for Youth Sports: Mental Health Challenges:External link:open_in_new This nonprofit focuses on educating and preparing youth sports leaders, volunteers and parents so children can enjoy the benefits of sports. The site has an information page on mental health challenges in sports with a link to sign up for a supplemental coach training course on the subject.
The Psychology of Recovering from a Sports Injury:External link:open_in_new The Children’s Hospital of Colorado provides recommendations on what to do after being injured, including understanding the injury and setting goals.
Rocket Blades:External link:open_in_new The CDC’s mobile app on concussion safety for children ages 6 to 8 teaches how the brain can be hurt during sports activities and the importance of telling a coach, parent or other adult when an injury occurs.
Society of Health and Physical Educators:External link:open_in_new This national organization of health and physical education professionals has resources for coaches and teachers to inspire healthy habits and minds among children.
Will to Live:External link:open_in_new This Georgia-based charity organization spreads awareness about mental health and promotes suicide prevention efforts.
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Coaches and Trainers
American Academy of Neurology: Sports Concussion Resources:External link:open_in_new The AAN provides resources for coaches and trainers on how to better understand, prevent and treat concussions.
At Your Own Risk:External link:open_in_new This initiative from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association aims to educate parents, school administrators and student athletes about a better approach to sports by providing tips to promote a positive sport experience and foster a culture of safety.
National Eating Disorders Association: Coach and Athletic Trainer Toolkit (PDF, 725 KB):External link:open_in_new The NEDA’s guide provides strategies to support athletes who may be affected by eating disorders.
Mental Health Best Practices: Understanding and Supporting Student-Athlete Mental Wellness (PDF, 2.5 MB):External link:open_in_new This NCAA Sport Science Institute’s publication highlights best practices and lists resources for athletic departments and university partners on subjects such as mental health screenings and referrals.
Mental Health: Managing Student-Athletes’ Mental Health Issues (PDF, 732 KB):External link:open_in_new This NCAA handbook provides information on behavioral, cognitive, emotional/psychological and physical/medical symptoms of mental health conditions to identify student-athletes who are at risk.
Mind, Body and Sport: Understanding and Supporting Student Athlete Mental Wellness (PDF, 3.1 MB)External link:open_in_new: This guide from the NCAA’s Sport Science Institute on supporting student-athlete mental wellness includes personal stories, information on recognizing symptoms of various conditions and disorders, and suggestions for what coaches and athletic trainers can do to provide care.
National Athletic Trainers’ Association:External link:open_in_new This association’s mental health page connects visitors with development planning guides for student athletes with psychological concerns at the secondary and collegiate levels.
Positive Coaching Alliance:External link:open_in_new This nonprofit with a mission to create a positive, character-building youth sports environment provides training workshops and resources on topics such as being a good teammate, learning the value of composure and putting sports into perspective.
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This article is for informational purposes only. If you are experiencing a mental health condition or crisis, contact a mental health professional.
Are you interested in a career supporting the mental health of athletes and other individuals? Read about how social workers address mental health with clients and learn how to become a licensed clinical social worker.