U Sports Mental Health Best Practices 2020

Purpose The purpose of this position statement is to provide Canadian university and college athletics and sport medicine departments with recommendations and guidelines for supporting and promoting student-athlete mental health.

Introduction Mental health and wellness of student-athletes is an important aspect of their overall health and academic and athletic performance. Mental illness rates are higher among young adults and athletes are no exception to this. Demands including academic, financial, family and interpersonal are all intensified during young adulthood. Mental health problems may present or increase during this critical time. In one study of competitive collegiate student-athletes, the prevalence of depression was found to be 21%1. Mental health issues can include diagnosable disorders such as depression, anxiety and ADHD but can also include situational crisis and difficulty coping with the stressors of life, school and sport.

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