The Athletes Connected Newsletter: August 2020

Each quarter we share updates surrounding our program and other student-athlete mental health initiatives. This issue features new Athletes Connected content updates, mentions in the news, highlights from the across the country, and a Michigan goodbye to one of our key program contributors.
BIPOC Mental Health Resources
Athletes Connected has updated its “Get Support” page to include BIPOC mental health resources including links to locate a provider as well as resources on and off campus. [ Read More ]
From Agony to Leadership: A Journey to Help Others
Michigan graduate and former volleyball athlete, Sydney Wetterstrom, shares how seeking help from the Athletics Counseling Team felt incredibly relieving and how it influenced her to become an advocate for student-athlete mental health.

“When someone feels supported they are more likely to succeed. I found community and support to be critical on and off the court."
Q&A: Gymnast Polina Schennikova
Athletes Connected caught up with former women’s gymnastics student assistant coach Polina Shchennikova, who medically retired from competition in fall 2018. In her Q&A, Polina talks about how she plans to continue to advocate for student-athlete mental health after graduation.

“I really don't want kids to feel the way I felt when I was doing athletics. I want them to all have a better experience."
Staying Mentally Well During the Pandemic
During the COVID-19 pandemic, University of Michgian student-athletes are sharing how they're staying mentally well. [ Read More ]
U-M Athletics Staff Feature on The Mental Minute with Michigan Medicine Podcast
Abigail Eiler, LMSW, director of the U-M Athletics Counseling Team, and Phil Johnson, U-M football head athletic trainer, were guests on The Mental Minute with Michigan Medicine podcast. Both discuss student-athlete mental health and other current issues with U-M Depression Center host and Athletes Connected member Will Heininger.

Eiler Episode: AUDIO | VIDEO
Johnson Episode: AUDIO | VIDEO

The Mental Minute is available on the following platforms: Anchor | Breaker | Google Podcasts | Overcast | Pocket Casts | Radio Public | Spotify Sports Column Highlights Mental Health During COVID-19, Athletes Connected
With all the uncertainty they are currently facing, athletes need positive coping skills more than ever. Sports medicine columnist John Doherty of spoke with Will Heininger about how Athletes Connected is handling the student-athlete mental health needs during the pandemic. [Read More ]
Michigan Promoting Mental Health Awareness with Program for Athletes
The Toledo Blade featured Athletes Connected in May about the program and the impact on student-athletes. [Read More ]

Eighty-five percent of University of Michigan student-athletes agree with the statement “On my own team, I feel that a student-athlete’s mental and emotional wellbeing is a priority.”
  • An NCAA student-athlete well-being survey conducted in April shows many are reporting high rates of mental distress and there are racial inequities related to access to housing, food, and ability to train at home.
  • PGA Tour winner Chris Kirk shares his story battling alcoholism, anxiety and depression while finding his path back to golf.
  • Dallas Stars defenseman Stephen Johns experienced bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts post-injury and he has now returned thanks to the support he received on and off the ice.
Key program contributor, Daniel Eisenberg, Ph.D., is taking his talents to the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA). Since the inception of Athletes Connected, Dr. Eisenberg has served as faculty Principal Investigator leading the scientific evaluation of the program’s effectiveness.

For today goodbye, for tomorrow good luck, and forever go blue!
ATHLETES CONNECTED | University of Michigan