Prioritizing Mental Health in Athletics

May is Mental Health Awareness month. This is an important topic across athletics and especially in college athletics where we see a huge impact, need and emphasis around mental health on campuses in general today. And because of that, there has been a spotlight on the topic of mental health and the best practices for tackling, addressing and supporting such an important subject.

I wrote on this topic a year ago this month. How far have we come since then?

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Why Professional Sports Organizations Need to Provide Better Personal Development Programs for Athletes

In February, former NHL hockey player Steve Montador was found dead in his home. He was 35 years old. 

There has been quite a bit of chatter around his passing and the issue of mental health support in professional sports. In the last week, Olympic medalist and hockey player, Hayley Wickenheiser, published an extremely well-written and thoughtful article on this issue in The Players’ Tribune. I also watched a very courageous and emotional video interview with current Chicago Blackhawk Daniel Carcillo on Montador's passing and the need for more support for the athletes in the National Hockey League. 

Both pieces moved me to respond, though I must admit that I’ve had a really hard time writing this post. So much so, that I have put off publishing it. I have such a hard time reading stories like Montador's and not getting emotionally charged. There is just no reason for something like this to happen — over and over again, especially when we have the tools to assist them. 

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