36 min

Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma League of Fans' Sports Forum

    • Sports

Our guests on this episode are Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci, the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit organization created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities across the country through the power of sport, storytelling, and community creation.

Mental health in college athletics is an important issue today.  At least five student-athletes died from suicide during the last several months of the 2021-22 school year.  A University of Michigan study found that only 10% of athletes with mental health struggles reach out for help compared to 30% of college students in general.  In addition, 63% of college student-athletes reported having had an emotional or mental health issue that negatively impacted their athletic performance in the four weeks prior to the survey.

Nathan and Taylor are former athletes at Oregon State University.  In this episode, we talk about what drove them to start Dam Worth It; the challenge of getting past the stigma that says admitting to a mental or emotional health challenge in sports is a sign of weakness; how important it is for athletes to be vulnerable; the challenge perfectionism presents for elite athletes; and how Dam Worth It has expanded beyond Oregon State and is reaching college campuses across the country.

Our guests on this episode are Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci, the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit organization created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities across the country through the power of sport, storytelling, and community creation.

Mental health in college athletics is an important issue today.  At least five student-athletes died from suicide during the last several months of the 2021-22 school year.  A University of Michigan study found that only 10% of athletes with mental health struggles reach out for help compared to 30% of college students in general.  In addition, 63% of college student-athletes reported having had an emotional or mental health issue that negatively impacted their athletic performance in the four weeks prior to the survey.

Nathan and Taylor are former athletes at Oregon State University.  In this episode, we talk about what drove them to start Dam Worth It; the challenge of getting past the stigma that says admitting to a mental or emotional health challenge in sports is a sign of weakness; how important it is for athletes to be vulnerable; the challenge perfectionism presents for elite athletes; and how Dam Worth It has expanded beyond Oregon State and is reaching college campuses across the country.

36 min

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