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Mental Health Awareness for Student Athletes

- Megan Papponetti, Assistant Director of Counseling Services

In Fall 2010, 116 Nazareth student athletes completed a needs assessment initiated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The results showed that student athletes could benefit from education on mental health issues. In order to respond to this need, Counseling Services partnered with swim coach Martie Staser and the CHAMPS class teachers to provide a 50 minute “Introduction to Mental Health” class. The class reviewed major mental illnesses, signs and symptoms, treatment options and available campus support services.  Student athletes also spent time examining their own personal stressors and developed a self care plan to help them manage stress and know when they need to seek support. 

In addition, each class viewed the Emmy Nominated ESPN E: 60 story “Unbreakable,” Jordan Burnham’s story. Jordan was a student athlete who suffered from depression and attempted suicide in 2007. Now, Jordan travels to college campuses in an effort to de-stigmatize mental illness and treatment. We hope to bring Jordan to campus next September during our first-ever Mental Health Awareness week. If you think the students you work with would benefit from receiving more education on mental health issues, please feel free to call Counseling Services (585-389-2887) to schedule a presentation.


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