Athlete Mental Health: What You Need To Know

The pressures experienced by athletes, stemming both from internal and external sources, can contribute to rapid declines in mental health

May 14, 2024

Athletes are often admired for their physical prowess. However, despite their exceptional talents, the demands of performance can take a drastic toll on their mental health.

In recent years, the medical field, sports organizations, and popular culture have given more recognition to the importance of mental health in athletes.

However, factors including personality, intense training, and the nature of competition can provoke psychological issues in this population.

Keep Reading To Learn

  • Which factors influence athletes’ mental health
  • How to address mental health concerns in athletes
  • How to destigmatize mental health concerns in the sports world

The Rate of Mental Health Issues in Athletes

Many people experience a mental health condition at some point in their lives. Athletes, like other individuals, are susceptible to mental health challenges throughout their lifetimes. In fact, athletes may have an increased risk of developing mental health conditions.

A 2019 study found that about 35% of elite athletes have mental health concerns. The top issues reported by athletes included feelings of burnout, depression, and anxiety.

Athletes operate under intense pressure. They often face unrealistic expectations from coaches, fans, teammates, and even themselves. The relentless pursuit of perfection can take a toll on their well-being.

Athletes often face the challenges of balancing personal responsibilities and meeting their sports commitments. For instance, student athletes must ensure their grades remain in good standing while being part of a school team.

Mental health issues can affect anyone at any stage of their life. However, athletes often face unique stressors, which can leave them vulnerable to mental health conditions.

Watch Now!

Cali Werner, LCSW, shares ways to spot signs and symptoms of mental health challenges in athletes and discusses how we can talk to our kids about mental health

Common Mental Health Disorders Among Athletes

Athletes can face a variety of mental health challenges throughout their sports careers. For instance, an athlete forced into retirement due to an injury will likely feel sad or even depressed.

Common mental health concerns for athletes include the following.

Depression

Recent research has dispelled the concept of athletes being immune to depression. The notion that athletes aren't prone to depressive episodes came from the idea that exercise “makes you happy” and releases mood-boosting endorphins. However, studies show that athletes are just as likely to struggle with depression as those who don’t play sports.

For instance, athletes face risk factors that include injury, over-training, involuntary career termination, and unrealistic performance expectations.

Signs of depression to watch out for in athletes include:

  • Increased irritability
  • Withdrawn
  • Lack of motivation
  • Loss of interest in sports
  • Social isolation
  • Changes in eating
  • Irregular sleep patterns

Learn more about depression

Eating Disorders

Athletes, especially those in specific sports, tend to follow extreme diets or exercise regimens. They do this to control their weight. Anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating are three types of eating disorders that can affect athletes.

Eating disorders are more common in females who play sports, particularly in women who feel dissatisfied with their physical appearance. There are also stereotypes in sports that can lead to disordered eating. For example, there’s the false perception that runners and swimmers must be thin to perform well.

Coaches often perpetuate eating disorders within specific sports teams. Dieting, weight loss, and extreme training may lead the coach to characterize the individual as a “good athlete” dedicated to their team. Student athletes often resist getting treatment for eating disorders out of fear of not being able to perform well in competition.

Learn more about eating disorders

Substance Misuse

One driving factor of substance misuse in athletics is that players want to gain an advantage on the field. Players rely on steroids and other types of drugs to enhance speed and strength. Anti-doping agencies have tried to reduce illegal drug use. However, some substances have evaded detection.

Another concern among athletes is painkiller abuse. Due to frequent injuries, athletes may take narcotics to manage pain symptoms. Once the injury heals, the individual may still rely on the opioid and find it difficult to quit.

Retired athletes will also misuse painkillers following their professional careers. For instance, retired NFL players were found to misuse opioids four times more than the general population.

Sleep Issues

Research has found that sleep issues occur in about 25% of athletes. Poor sleep affects a person’s sports performance and their ability to focus. Sports factors that can contribute to difficulties sleeping include:

  • High training loads
  • Early morning training
  • Late night training
  • Sports-related travel
  • Competition anxiety

Sleep disturbances can also occur as a result of concussions. Concussions are a common and recurrent injury that happens often in sports such as football, ice hockey, wrestling, and rugby. Mental health issues that have been linked to concussions include anxiety, depression, and sleeping difficulties.

Diet & Mental Health

Woman eating bowl with fruit

Learn how our food choices can positively or negatively affect our mood and mental wellness.

Woman eating bowl with fruit

Anxiety

According to the NCAA, 85% of athletic trainers believe anxiety among student athletes is a cause for concern. Players can struggle with performance anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder.

Anxiety can cause symptoms that affect the mind and body. Common signs of anxiety are:

  • Feelings of powerlessness
  • A strong sense of impending doom
  • Increased heart rate
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Shortness of breath

Learn more about anxiety

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

In a recent study, the American Journal of Psychiatry published that OCD is more common among college athletes than previously believed. The expected rate of OCD among the population was 2.3%. However, researchers found that the percentage was 5.2%—nearly double the anticipated rate.

Athletes and others with OCD develop obsessive thoughts that lead to compulsive acts. For instance, an athlete may feel they’ll suffer a severe injury on the field if they don’t follow a specific set of ritual actions before every game (like the order they put on their gear or checking their locker is locked multiple times before leaving the locker room).

OCD symptoms can cause significant stress and can prove debilitating if not treated.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is very common among athletes and non-athletes alike. However, there are special considerations for athletes with this disorder.

Medications used to treat ADHD may raise core temperatures, leading to a higher risk of training-related illness or injury. In addition, athletes with ADHD may struggle when presented with high expectations from sports teams, especially when combined with strict academic requirements.

Athletes with ADHD may or may not have a formal diagnosis. For this reason, it is important for sports medicine professionals and coaches to be aware of signs of ADHD symptoms.

ADHD symptoms include trouble with multitasking, poor time management skills, disorganization, trouble with priorities, problems focusing on tasks, restlessness, and poor planning.

Learn more about ADHD

Link Between Physical & Mental Health

Teen lifting weights on a bench press

Dr. Christopher Palmer breaks down the connection between our physical and mental health.

Teen lifting weights on a bench press

Factors Influencing Mental Health in Athletes

A combination of personality, cultural, and environmental factors influence the rate of mental health disorders in athletes.

Personality

Athletes often possess specific personality traits that help them succeed. Certain characteristics often allow them to thrive in competition. However, these traits can predispose athletes to mental health disorders.

Research shows that athletes tend to be:

  • Hardworking
  • Persistent
  • Committed
  • Intelligent
  • Able to have a high level of self-control
  • Achievement-oriented
  • Good decision-makers

Persistence and diligence are often viewed as positive traits. However, these same characteristics can lead athletes to place a lot of pressure on themselves.

The intense pressure to perform consistently and endure grueling training regimens can contribute to high anxiety levels.

Perfectionism can have negative consequences, and sports teams often want flawless game play. However, when someone overthinks their performance, such stress can undermine their ability. When athletes underperform, they question their self-worth, heightening their fear of failure.

Gender and Sexual Misconduct

An NCAA Student-Athlete Well-Being study released in 2022 found that female athletes experienced more incidences of mental exhaustion, sadness, and anxiety than their male counterparts. Suicide rates among female athletes have increased in recent years.

For example, in 2022, five female athletes in the NCAA took their own lives. In many of the cases where female athletes died by suicide, injuries and mounting pressures have been contributing factors.

Sexual misconduct and harassment have also factored into the mental health spectrum in athletics. All genders face a risk of harassment from coaches and teammates. Studies show that peers on sports teams are more likely to commit acts of sexual misconduct than coaches. Abuse can range in severity, but higher levels of competition have been linked to an increased likelihood of sexual misconduct.

Hazing and Bullying

Hazing is the practice of subjecting new players to abusive rituals. The practice can have severe short- and long-term effects on an athlete’s mental health.

Hazing often involves taking health risks, such as drinking an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period. Not only does hazing pose mental health challenges, but the acts put a person’s physical well-being in jeopardy. According to the NCAA, hazing rituals put an individual at risk for a career-ending injury and an increased chance of negatively affecting athletic performance on the field.

Bullying in athletics can involve coaches or peers as perpetrators. Bullying can take on different forms and have long-term consequences. Bullied athletes can experience feelings of exclusion, isolation, and low self-esteem. Some individuals who are bullied during sports can develop depression, anxiety, or acute stress disorder.

Injury and Illness

Sustaining an injury or falling ill can prove stressful for anyone. However, injured athletes often feel intense pressure to rehabilitate quickly and return to the field.

If an injury is severe and an athlete can’t return to their sport, they can experience a loss of identity. An injury can sometimes unmask mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

Injuries can increase the risk of substance misuse as players attempt to self-medicate to recover quickly. Additionally, injured athletes are at risk of disordered eating—they may significantly limit their calorie intake because they are hurt and feel they “don’t deserve to eat.”

Concussions

Concussions pose a serious risk to athletes. According to a 2014 study, an estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million concussions occur annually in the U.S.

High-risk sports for males include American football, rugby, wrestling, and ice hockey. For women, basketball and soccer pose a higher concussion risk.

Common symptoms of a concussion include dizziness, headache, nausea, confusion, memory impairment, balance issues, and cognitive impairment. Concussions have been linked to mental health issues including anxiety, depression, and sleeping difficulties.

Most people recover from a concussion over time. However, repeated concussions can lead to chronic post-concussion syndrome and chronic neurodegeneration.

In recent years, more attention has been given to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive brain disease found in people who have sustained repeated impacts to the head. Contact sports like American football are a primary cause of CTE.

While many symptoms overlap with those of concussions, CTE symptoms typically manifest years or even decades after experiencing brain trauma or after an individual stops actively participating in contact sports.

Overtraining Syndrome

With the intense competition of sports, athletes may think that more training is better. However, even strong, athletic bodies can only endure a certain amount of stress. Overtraining syndrome (OTS) occurs when athletes train beyond their bodies’ ability to recover and do not allow adequate rest.

The exact process of OTS is still unknown, but it is believed a lack of rest and repair places the body into survival mode. When this happens, multiple systems within the body adapt to the inhospitable environment created by stress and insufficient rest. These adaptations, which are designed to keep the body alive at a basic level, lead to immunological, neurological, muscular, metabolic, and psychological changes.

In overtraining syndrome, athletes reach a plateau followed by a decline in performance. Symptoms of overtraining syndrome include fatigue, changes in appetite, muscle soreness, depression, and difficulty concentrating.

Treatment plans for athletes with OTS are unique to the individual but often include rest as well as psychotherapy and antidepressant medication.

Perfectionism in Kids & Teens

children playing soccer in a field

Dr. Elizabeth McIngvale explains the varying signs and symptoms of perfectionism.

children playing soccer in a field

Age Considerations of Athletes

It’s important to consider age in the context of mental health. The risks of mental health issues are different for athletes at the youth, college, professional, and retirement levels.

Youth

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, youth sports offer positive mental health benefits, including better sleep, improved communication skills, better concentration, and a boost to self-confidence.

However, since young athletes often fear failure, they are at risk of experiencing stress and anxiety.

As the level of competition increases, the risks of anxiety, eating disorders, and depression grow. Today, college and professional teams start the recruitment process early, and many high school students may not be prepared for the intensity of the experience.

In high school, about 57% of all students participate in at least one sport. High school sports have a higher level of competition than recreational youth leagues.

High school sports also frequently require more practice and training time. The physical and mental commitment can take a toll on teens.

More than 60% of those who participate in sports report feeling moderate to severe levels of stress. The stress of sports affects all areas of students’ lives—including athletic performance. High school athletes often hide feelings of stress and anxiety and rarely seek out mental health treatments.

College

Previously, college athletics had rules in place to prevent financial gain from playing for a school team. However, since 2021, new NIL (name, image, likeness) deals have increased the pressure on college athletes and high school prospects.

College athletes can now earn six figures or more by securing endorsement deals. The pressure to attain such competitive deals creates yet another form of stress.

College athletes also face pressure related to performing well on the field and maintaining the GPA needed to qualify for participation. Students may need to work extra hard to keep up with academics when games and scheduled trainings force them to miss classes.

According to the NCAA Student-Athlete Well-Being study, feelings of depression, hopelessness, and mental exhaustion among student athletes have remained at elevated rates since 2020.

Professional

Recently, high-profile athletes have brought much-needed attention to prioritizing mental health.

In 2021, Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open, citing concerns about her mental well-being. Gymnast Simone Biles has also sat out competitions to protect her mental health. When professional athletes speak out about their personal mental health challenges, they help combat stigma around these experiences.

Professional athletes have extreme performance expectations placed upon them. Since these individuals are paid to play sports, they are expected to perform at a high level for prolonged periods.

Teammates, coaches, and fans often place unrealistic expectations on pro athletes. Professionals don’t receive time off and are expected to recover quickly from injuries. They may also feel they must consistently prove themselves to secure a place on their team.

Retirement and Older Adulthood

The retirement age for athletes varies depending on the specific sport’s physical demands. However, athletes generally retire far earlier than people in other professions.

Retirement for athletes can create a distressing shift in identity. For much of their lives, athletes receive attention for their abilities and often experience fulfillment in using their talents. In addition, professional athletes live highly structured lives, where coaches, trainers, and managers organize their schedules for them.

When retiring, athletes often need to learn new skills or approach their sport with a new perspective. It can take time for athletes to redefine themselves or adjust values and priorities to suit their new life stage.

As is the case with everyone, aging athletes go through physical changes. They experience decreased strength, endurance, and speed. Because so much of an athlete’s life has been centered on peak performance, it can be especially hard to no longer attain the results they were accustomed to achieving.

The same is true for physical appearance. Athletes may find it challenging to adjust to weight gain, loss of muscle mass, and decreased stature, which can be part of aging.

In retirement, athletes are especially vulnerable to health conditions such as cognitive impairment and osteoarthritis. They are at high risk of developing mental health issues including depression, substance addiction, eating disorders, and anxiety.

According to research, the amount of control an athlete has over retirement affects how well they adjust to the situation. Athletes who plan to retire tend to manage better than those who were forced to retire due to injury or changes in performance.

Studies show that athletes who lead well-rounded, well-balanced lives throughout their careers adjust better to retirement. Throughout an athlete’s career, programs and trainers can encourage athletes to expand their interests and values, prepare for specific health issues, and plan for retirement.

Teen athletes group huddle

Recognizing the Signs of Mental Health Issues in Athletes

Looking for the signs of mental health issues is the responsibility of coaches, athletic trainers, and family members. Although each individual experiences symptoms differently, there are common indicators to look out for. The following are potential signs that an athlete is struggling:

  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Increased irritability
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Decreased motivation
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Decline in athletic performance
  • Negative self-talk
  • Difficulty concentrating

7 Tips for Supporting Athletes’ Mental Health

To effectively support the mental health of athletes, it’s essential for everyone involved in their lives to adopt a comprehensive approach. Athletes need support at the individual, team, and organizational levels.

Consider the following key strategies to support athletes’ mental health.

1. Create a Supportive Team Environment

Team dynamics play a prominent role in athletes’ mental well-being. Coaches and other staff must prioritize creating an inclusive team environment where everyone feels supported. Maintaining connections with everyone on the team is important, even if a player is out due to injury. Involve the injured athlete as much as possible in team-bonding experiences to help them feel included.

Team-building activities help foster positive relationships between staff and team members. Retreats, scavenger hunts, team trivia, or community service projects are a few examples of ways that teammates can come together off the field. When athletes feel connected to their team, they may feel more comfortable voicing their mental health concerns.

2. Emphasize Balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for an athlete’s mental health. Players need to set boundaries between their sports commitments and personal lives. It’s important for athletes to rest or take breaks between training schedules in order to recover mentally and physically.

If coaches notice a player is struggling, they can ask what the athlete may need to feel better. For instance, athletes may need time away from the sport or a different training schedule. Athletes may find it helpful to spend time with friends and family, participate in activities they enjoy outside of the sport, and ensure they make time for relaxation.

3. Promote Mental Health Literacy

One of the top barriers to addressing mental health concerns in athletes is the stigma surrounding mental illness. Athletes may feel that speaking up about mental health issues will put their careers in jeopardy. To combat stigma, it’s important to share resources like educational articles and webinars to increase the understanding of mental health issues.

Athletic trainers are typically the first point of contact in managing mental health concerns for student athletes. Trainers are expected to provide the necessary resources for team members to get the help they need.

In some situations, trainers or team physicians can make referrals to mental health professionals. If an athlete indicates any plans to hurt themselves or others, trainers should get immediate assistance from crisis or emergency personnel.

4. Elevate Open and Supportive Communication

Creating a culture of open communication makes a significant difference in supporting the mental health of athletes. Everyone on a team should feel comfortable expressing emotions.

Team members should feel safe when reporting issues that could affect athlete mental health, such as team hazing or bullying. Coaches and staff can strive to have an open-door policy and should receive training to effectively handle such concerns.

Regular team meetings should be part of a sports schedule. Coaches can allow athletes to share their experiences and receive support in a safe space. Before a new player joins a team, coaches can share a pre-screening questionnaire to assess the person’s mental health. Such screenings can help staff be aware if a player is at risk for mental well-being concerns or needs additional support surrounding an existing mental health diagnosis.

5. Encourage Education Programs

Athletes should be exposed to mental health awareness programs from a young age. Coaches, support staff, and players should know how to recognize signs of mental distress and should be aware of available resources. Mental health programs spark discussions that allow athletes to seek support without judgment.

While coaches and trainers can offer resources, they aren’t expected to treat mental health disorders. Instead, they can refer the player to one of the following professionals:

  • Clinical psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Licensed clinical social workers
  • Psychiatric nurses
  • Licensed mental health counselors
  • Licensed family therapists
  • Primary care physicians with training to treat mental health disorders

6. Develop Self-Care Plans

One strategy for maintaining mental health involves creating a self-care plan. An athlete can brainstorm strategies that focus on well-being. Instead of focusing on training or academics, the individual can spend a set amount of time daily doing something relaxing.

Self-care activities include reading, journaling, walking outdoors, talking with friends, spending time with pets, meditating, or listening to music.

7. Speak Up

Athletes are not immune to struggles and should feel supported to acknowledge their vulnerabilities. High-profile athletes who share their mental health challenges can have a lasting impact—they encourage others to speak up and seek help.

Anti-stigma projects, like McLean's Deconstructing Stigma campaign, often highlight personal stories of everyday people brave enough to share their mental health journey. Participants in campaigns such as this often cite their reason for speaking up and sharing their story as wanting to let others know they are not alone.

Mandy’s Journey With Mental Illness

Woman with basketball

Mandy, a participant in McLean’s Deconstructing Stigma campaign, tells her story of living with mental illness.

Woman with basketball

Common Treatments for Athlete Mental Health

As the American Psychological Association (APA) points out, mental health treatment for athletes addresses athletes’ performance and emotional well-being, considers the social aspects of sports participation, and looks at sports teams and organizations through a systemic lens.

Performance Psychology

Performance psychology has emerged as a valuable tool in sports training. Not only does the methodology help players on the field, but it also focuses on the positive mental skills needed to succeed.

Through cognitive skills training, the goal of performance psychology is to help athletes stay calm under pressure and remain confident and in control of situations. Examples of performance psychology exercises are:

  • Visualization techniques
  • Goal setting
  • Mindfulness
  • Positive self-talk
  • Relaxation techniques

Psychotherapy

For mental health concerns frequently experienced by athletes, such as anxiety, mild depression, anger, and sports-related adjustment issues, psychotherapy (talk therapy) is often the first line of treatment.

Through psychotherapy, therapists may counsel athletes on topics including motivation, career transitions and identity, sexual identity, overtraining, and burnout.

There are various forms of psychotherapy including cognitive behavior therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, and more.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) helps patients understand how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are closely connected. Among other skills, mental health professionals help patients identify and change unhelpful thinking patterns, gain a better understanding of their own and others’ behaviors, and develop problem-solving skills.

Clinicians may use CBT to help athletes set goals, remain focused, stay calm when stressed, and develop leadership skills. Athletes may find CBT helpful because they may already appreciate the therapy’s emphasis on structure, goal setting, practice, and self-reliance.

CBT is often used to treat:

  • Substance use disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Chronic pain
  • Stress

Motivational Enhancement Therapy

Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) addresses patients’ ambivalence toward necessary change and helps them move forward with healthy behaviors. Clinicians navigate this process by asking open-ended questions, affirming positive insights, practicing reflective listening, and summarizing athletes’ perspectives.

MET is often used to treat:

  • Substance addiction
  • Tobacco cessation
  • Medication adherence

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy focuses on the roots of emotional suffering. Mental health professionals can help athletes make connections between past experiences and current thoughts, behaviors, and relationships.

In psychodynamic therapy, the relationship between the provider and patient is used as a lens through which patients can understand other relationships and experiences in their lives. By developing insight through this process, athletes can reduce symptoms and be more prepared to manage the stresses of their sport.

Psychodynamic therapy is helpful for a range of conditions including:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Depression
  • Stress-related physical ailments

Medication

Depending on the condition being treated and the type of medication in question, medication can help regulate mood, reduce stress, increase attention, and promote regular sleep. As with non-athletes, a preferred treatment plan for athletes may involve a combination of talk therapy and medication.

Athletes have special considerations when it comes to medication. Prescription drugs can interfere with sports agencies’ anti-doping regulations. Medication can create side effects, such as weight gain, tremors, and sedation, which can interfere with performance. Clinicians should follow best practices when prescribing medication. Prescribers should work closely with athletes to monitor medication regimens as well as mitigate any side effects.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is often recommended, along with individual psychotherapy and/or medication. Athletes involved in team sports may be especially responsive to group therapy with its familiar structure of a group/team and a leader/coach.

Couples/Family Therapy

Mental health professionals can help athletes and their partners/families gain an understanding of the impact of family life on an athlete’s performance. They can also help athletes and families gain insight into how an athlete’s mental health symptoms can affect the family.

For professional and even amateur athletes, dedication to a sport can become their sole priority, placing relationships with partners, children, and others at risk. Family therapy can help athletes and their loved ones recognize patterns, set priorities that benefit the well-being of the relationship, and find a balance between the athletic career and family life.

McLean Is Here To Help

Patient and clinician talk outside on steps

If you or a loved one are struggling with your mental health, McLean offers world-class care. Learn more about treatment options.

Patient and clinician talk outside on steps

Destigmatizing Athlete Mental Health

Building a robust support system within the athletic community is essential for addressing mental health concerns. Destigmatization efforts must be widespread to encourage people to seek help without fear of negative consequences.

Coaches and family members must help eliminate the notion that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Athletes who feel supported are more likely to seek assistance. Athletes should not be asked to push through mental pain any more than they should push through physical pain.

Performance psychology has emerged as a valuable tool in sports training. Not only does the methodology help players on the field, but it also focuses on the positive mental skills needed to succeed.

While strides have been made in acknowledging mental health issues in sports, challenges still persist. Sports organizations must actively promote a culture of empathy and support.

Regular mental health check-ins with team members can help break down the barriers that prevent people from receiving help. When it comes to athlete mental health, the goal is to create an environment where athletes can thrive physically and mentally.

Want More Information?

Looking for even more information about athletes and mental health? You may find these resources helpful.

Interesting Articles, Videos, and More

Learn more about mental health and what you can do if you or a loved one is displaying signs they are struggling.

Helpful Links

These organizations may also have useful information:

Athletes for Hope
This nonprofit organization aims to educate, encourage, and assist athletes in their efforts to engage with community and charitable causes, to increase public awareness of and support for those efforts, and to inspire others to do the same. Their Whole Being Athlete Program unites and empowers athletes of all levels and backgrounds to work together and reduce the stigma of mental health in and out of sports.

U.S. Center for Mental Health and Sport
The U.S. Center for Mental Health and Sport is focused on making sport environments a place where all involved can experience support for their mental health. The organization offers resources, training, and support to help make the athletic environment one that is inclusive and provides a positive experience.

U.S. Center for SafeSport
Authorized by Congress to help abuse prevention, education, and accountability take root in every sport, on every court, the U.S. Center for SafeSport is dedicated solely to ending sexual, physical, and emotional abuse on behalf of athletes everywhere.

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free, and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States. If you are suicidal, please call 988 or 800.273.TALK(8255) or use the chat feature on their website.

International OCD Foundation (IOCDF)
The mission of the IOCDF is to help people affected by obsessive compulsive disorder and related disorders live full and productive lives. The IOCDF aims to increase access to effective treatment through research and training, foster a hopeful and supportive community for those affected by OCD and the professionals who treat them, and fight the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

National Alliance for Eating Disorders
The National Alliance for Eating Disorders is the leading national nonprofit organization providing referrals, education, and support for individuals experiencing eating disorders and their loved ones. The organization works to raise awareness, eliminate secrecy and stigma, promote access to care, and support those susceptible to, currently experiencing, and recovering from eating disorders.

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. They created and operate the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention nonprofit organization for LGBTQ+ young people. They provide information and support to LGBTQ+ young people 24/7, all year round. Call 1.866.488.7386 or text “START” to 678.678.