College Sports’ Newest Need: Psychologists

Like weight rooms and nutrition programs, mental-health services have become integral to college athletic departments…

In the fall of his junior year at Indiana University, distance runner Jackson Bertoli was suffering from deep depression. He couldn’t voice the words to his girlfriend, so he texted her as she sat beside him: I’m feeling suicidal…

College students in general are reporting more depression and anxiety than ever. Varsity athletes cope with those issues while under a spotlight and balancing studies with time-intensive training. Alongside weight rooms and nutrition programs, mental-health services are growing into indispensable parts of major-college athletic departments…

“The culture of toughness, and just suck it up—that is increasingly going away,” said Brian Hainline, the NCAA’s chief medical officer. Not only are athletic departments realizing the rising need for mental-health services, he said, but “it’s increasingly recognized that mental-health symptoms and disorders have an adverse impact on performance. So there’s a dual incentive.”



Athletes and Mental Health: The Hidden Opponent


Mind, Body and Sport: The Psychologist Perspective

An excerpt from the Sport Science Institute’s guide to understanding and supporting student-athlete mental wellness…

It is no surprise that these pressures can affect a student-athlete’s mental health. A well-trained psychologist with expertise in sport psychology is an ideal resource to provide care and services. But over the past 20 years, the sports psychologist’s role in college sports has evolved more slowly than student-athletes’ needs.

The ways colleges and universities use sport psychologists also vary, often depending on resources and how well the athletics department understands how to incorporate these services.

The following explains both the challenges related to the integration of sport psychologists within college athletics, and the models schools currently use when they do take advantage of such expertise…



College Pressure and Addiction: Athletic and Academic

A study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs concludes that college athletes who use performance-enhancing substances are at higher risk of alcohol and recreational drug abuse compared to athletes who don’t use such drugs…



Addiction Rehabilitation Treatment for Young Men

It’s not uncommon for folks to wonder, “Does my kid really need treatment, or does he just need a good dose of discipline?”

Voyage is in the business of providing treatment to young men struggling with addiction, so we’re always going to answer yes, your son does need treatment. This question makes sense, and it speaks to an idea many of us were raised on. Using discipline and consequences simply won’t work for someone with a diagnosed substance use disorder. Understanding this begins with understanding the mechanics of what a substance use disorder or “addiction” is.

First, let’s look at where it begins: in the brain…


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