Owens, Carl, Trone, and Allred Introduce Resolution Designating National Student Athlete Mental Health Week

WASHINGTON Reps. Burgess Owens (UT-04), Jerry Carl (AL-01), David Trone (MD-06), and Colin Allred (TX-32) re-introduced a bipartisan resolution to designate September 30, 2023, through October 7, 2023, as “National Student Athlete Mental Health Week.”

As a former student-athlete, I know firsthand how balancing academics, athletics, and other responsibilities takes a toll on a student’s mental health. It is imperative that we destigmatize mental health in college athletics and provide life-saving care for athletes mentally suffering in silence. As the Chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development, I am proud to support this House resolution to equip colleges and universities with critical mental health resources for student-athletes, and I will continue to be a leading voice for students across the nation,” said Rep. Owens.

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 re-introduce this resolution to address this crisis by bringing awareness to it and fighting the stigma around mental health issues,” said Rep. Carl.

“Teens and young adults are bearing the brunt of our nation’s worsening mental health crisis, and student athletes can be uniquely 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. Trone, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force.

“I know from my time playing football at Baylor how much the immense pressure of high-stakes competition can impact a young athlete’s mental health. That’s why we must first talk about the issue out in the open, and remind our student-athletes that no matter what they are struggling with, they are not alone. I am proud to join this bipartisan resolution and look forward to working together on solutions to help improve mental health for our student-athletes,” said Rep. Allred.

Background:

Nearly eight million high school students currently participate in athletics, and roughly 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 well-being of student athletes. National Student Athlete Mental Health Week would coincide with Mental Illness Awareness Week.

The full text of the resolution can be found here.

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