Strategies for Efficetively Addressing the Behavioral/Mental Health

Strategies for Effectively
Addressing the Behavioral/Mental
Health Needs of Student-Athletes
at Your Institution
APPLE Conference
January 28th, 2012
Bob Corb, PhD
Sport Psychology Program Director
By Way of Introduction:
De-stygmatizing the Need for
Mental Health Services
Ron Artest wins championship,
thanks therapist
Pat Summitt Statement - YouTube
My situation: Me and Michael J. Fox
Three Questions to be
Answered Today
What makes student-athletes
different from non-athlete students?
What can student-athletes
reasonably expect at my school?
How do I make sure student-athletes
get the services they need at my
What Makes Student-Athletes
Different From Non-Athlete Students?
 Task of Adolescence: Establish identity
 “Athlete” is part of that identity
 S-As experience the world differently than
non-athlete students: injuries; ATOD
 Mental health needs of S-As will be similar
but also differ from non-athlete students
Primary Clinical Concerns of
Female Athletes
 Depression
 Relationships
 Teammates
 Coaching Staff
 Family of Origin
 Dating/Romantic
 Eating Disorders/
Body Image
 Self-Esteem/SelfConfidence
 Relationship
 Transition to
I Environment
 Alcohol Abuse
 Sexism
Primary Clinical Concerns of
Male Athletes
 Relationship issues
 Substance Use/
 Alcohol
 Marijuana
 Steroids
 Nicotine
 Cocaine
 Other Drugs
 Anxiety
 Depression and/or
 Anger Management
 Declining Athletic
or Academic
 Injury Related
Other Potential Areas of
Clinical Attention
 Learning Disabilities
 Self-esteem and/or Confidence
 Performance Enhancement
 Transition into College
Demands of Collegiate Athletics
 End of Academic and/or Collegiate Career
 Other???
What Can Student-Athletes
Reasonably Expect at my School?
Level of service available to S-As
determined by institution's values
related to inter-collegiate athletics
Mainstreaming vs. Specialized
Delivery of Services; NCAA “extra
benefit” rule
III tier system w/ some exceptions
Division III:
The Student-Athlete Experience
 “Division III features student-athletes who
are subject to the same admission
standards, academic standards, housing,
and support services as the general
student body.” (
 S-As are in the mainstream; student
psychological services may NOT be
prepared to meet unique needs of
 S-As must advocate for themselves and
their mental health needs
Division II:
The Student-Athlete Experience
 “Division II provides an intersection where athletically
gifted students can compete at a high level, while
maintaining much of a traditional collegiate experience. The
Division II emphasis is on balance, with the objective of
providing student-athletes a comprehensive program of
learning and development. Student-athletes are
encouraged to achieve excellence in their sport, in the
classroom and in their community.” (
 S-As may be mainstreamed for financial reasons
but may need specialized services; mental health
needs of many S-As not being met
 S-As must advocate for themselves and get the
support of coaches and DIA in order to meet
mental health needs
Division I:
The Athlete-Student Experience
 “Division I member institutions are expected
to be nationally competitive, to offer broadbased participation opportunities for men and
women, and to be as economically selfsufficient as possible.” (
 S-As frequently receive specialized
delivery of services, which may include
sport psychology (housed in DIA or CAPS)
 S-As must fight stigma associated with
asking for help; help is available but S-As
often afraid to ask (confidentiality)
How do I Make Sure Student-Athletes Get
the Services They Need at my School?
 Understand what is reasonable to expect
based on the priority your school puts on
intercollegiate athletics
 Wherever possible, S-As must fight the
stigma associated with S-As seeking
mental health services; normalize,
educate, advocate
 S-As must be conscientious consumers of
ALL student services; establishing one’s
identity includes individual responsibility
Division III: Specific Strategies
(focus on “Educate”)
 Identify faculty/staff supportive of S-As and get them
involved (Psychology; Kinesiology; etc)
 Make them fans of DIA and individual S-As
 Teach a sport psychology class
 Independent study/research
 Outreach by CAPS on topics of interest (PST; ED; etc)
 Work with DIA to de-stygmatize and prioritize the mental
health of S-As
 Athletic trainers and sports medicine staff
 Coaches as educators educating the whole person
 Use outside resources: Graduate programs in Sport Psych
 Individual, team, and departmental interventions
 Other???
Division II: Specific Strategies
(focus on “Advocate”)
 Work w/in DIA to maximize resources
 Sports medicine; strength and conditioning
 Suggest outside resources (Graduate Sp Psyc programs)
 Make connections w/ on-campus student
services: Assume they want to meet S-A needs
Health Center
Career Center
Residential Life
Academic Advising
 Other???
Division I: Specific Strategies
(focus on “Normalize”)
 Expect and demand needed services w/in DIA: Identify
“allies” and “gate keepers”
 AS2
 Sports medicine
 Strength and conditioning
 CHAMPS Life Skills
 Sport psychologist
 SAMs
 Approach on-campus resources expecting that they want to
serve an under-served population but won’t know how
Academic advising
Career Center
Residential Life
 Step-Up: Bystander involvement
 Other???
NCAA Resources
Managing Student-Athletes' Mental
Health Needs
Bob Corb, Ph.D.
Sport Psychology Program Director, UCLA
[email protected]

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