A student-athlete's "mental health" might be viewed as secondary to physical health; however, it is every bit as important for healthy performance.

 
 
 











When you think of a student-athlete's health, you probably are inclined to think primarily of the person's physical/medical condition and what effect the injury will have on athletic performance. A student-athlete's "mental health" might be viewed as secondary to physical health; however, it is every bit as important.

Research suggests that suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. Approximately three suicides occur daily among college students, and seven to 10 percent of college students either attempt or contemplate suicide in a given year. Although early identification and treatment are important for all mental disorders, they are more important for mood disorders because of the potential for self-harm. Coaches sometime want to assume that student-athletes are healthy simply because they are athletes. Coaches must remember that they are not just student-athletes. They are human beings with the same potential frailties as non-athletes. They are young people attempting to deal with all of the complexities of life, the demands of college life and the pressures that sometimes accompany athletic performance.
 
Source: NCAA Managing Student-Athletes' Mental Health Issues Resource Guide
Former Student Athlete Kevin Berthia on Depression. Mental Health. Suicide. Listening. 
Kevin Berthia is a grateful suicide survivor and suicide prevention advocate. Kevin was born with a genetic major depression disorder that he inherited from his biological mother. In 2005 at the age of 22, Kevin attempted to take his own life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. After jumping the railing, he stood on a 4 inch narrow cord about 220 feet in the air. For 96 minutes, with nothing to stop him from falling except a listening ear, Kevin spoke with a first responder who eventually talked him back over the railing. 


Kevin Berthia is a Grateful Suicide Prevention Advocate, encouraging people to talk through their problems rather than think about ending their lives. His 2015 TEDxTalk poignantly hit home The Impact of Listening.  
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