Mental Health Awareness Mental Health AwarenessThis past year has been incredibly challenging for everyone’s mental health. Athletes have not been immune to these struggles and in response to these challenges, NEFC is thrilled to announce the launch of an ongoing Mental Health Initiative created to support athletes. Beginning today, in partnership with Megan Willette, LMHC and Mental Agility Consulting we are kicking things off to celebrate a summer of Mental Health Awareness. Over summer break will be sharing engaging resources, statistics, and various ways to get involved in order to stop the stigma around mental health. Stay tuned and be on the lookout for this fall where we have some big announcements coming soon! SPORT PSYCHOLOGY 101What is Sport Psychology?Providing performers, the resources and knowledge to reach their full potential by strengthening their mental skills.Common reasons people reach out: They want to perform their best, feeling immense pressure, struggling with mental health, difficult team or coach dynamics, leadership training, support/consultation, using unhelpful self-talkWhere Do I start?One option is to begin working with a sport performance coach. The other is to take the Athlete Coping Skills Inventory (ACSI). This will give you a baseline of your mental skills, to further assess if you’d like performance coaching.How can I find a Sport Performance Coach?Boston Sport and Performance Psychology, ICCD Sport Psychology Services, MindFlow Performance, Amplify Wellness & PerformanceThe three types of Sport Psychology:Purely Performance counselingPurely clinical counselingHybrid, a clinician that can do both: clinical & performance Links:https://appliedsportpsych.orghttps://studylib.net/doc/8605123/athletic-coping-skills-inventory-with-scoring-systemhttp://bostonsportpsych.com/https://www.iccdpartners.org/service/sports-psychology-services/https://www.mindflowperformance.com/dr-amy-baltzellhttps://amplifyingperformance.com/MENTAL HEALTH 101FACTORS THAT IMPACT TEENAGE MENTAL HEALTH:Barriers to accessing careBusy SchedulesChallenging SituationsChildhood AbuseDrugs & AlcoholEnvironmentGeneticsPressure to SucceedRelationship DifficultiesSocial MediaStigma against help-seekingThese factors of often written off as ordinary adolescent development; Whether that’s true or not, the impact on their mental health and the suicide rates prove they need these factors need to be taken seriously More risk factors = greater impact on their mental healthHow To HelpBe a positive role model: practice good decision making, healthy habits, good communication, and self-compassionCheck in using open ended questionsDon’t try to do it alone, bring in other adults in their life to help support them, seek therapy, let them know you’re concerned from a place loveEncourage them to talk to themselves like they would a friend; help reframe negative thoughtsHave the difficult conversationsProvide holistic care AND a macro perspectiveObserve any pattern changes in mood, interests, self-care, etc.Statistics:1 in 7 (14%) 10-19 year-olds experience mental health strugglesSuicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-19 year-olds1 in 5 question their sexuality & 1 in 10 teens question their gender identityAnxiety and Depression have increased by more than 70% in the past 10 yearsIn 2019, 9% of high school students attempted suicide, and 19% of high school students considered it.How athletes can help themselves:Acknowledge and manage emotionsFuel body nutritionallyHealthy Sleep PatternsIdentify and Utilize Coping SkillsLearn problem-solving skillsPractice interpersonal (social) skillsPut yourself in protective & supportive environmentsRegular ExerciseMENTAL HEALTH RESOURCESCounseling and crisis intervention Services: Northborough, MA (800)640-5432How to find an outpatient therapist:Go to www.PsychologyToday.com; Enter filters: zip code, insurance, etc.Contact at least 5 clinicians, and get on waiting listsMassachusetts Emergency Services Program: (877)-382-1609Every Emergency Room has a mental health clinician on staff that you can speak toANXIETY AND DEPRESSION IN TEENSFindings from a meta-analysis on Global Prevalence of Depressive and Anxiety Symptoms in Children and Adolescents During COVID-19 to pre-pandemic estimates suggest that youth mental health difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic has likely doubled.1 in 4 youth globally are experiencing clinically elevated depression symptoms1 in 5 youth are experiencing clinically elevated anxiety symptoms(Nicole Racine, PhD, RPsych1,2; Brae Anne McArthur, PhD, RPsych1,2; Jessica E. Cooke, MSc1,2; et al)Feelings are temporary; the unpleasant ones can be our best teachers by helping us grow confidence and emotional strength. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKy19WzkPxE“Never make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings”Feelings are visitors, let them come and go, if any get stuck, talk, or work through itStay present & mindful let the feeling run its course…remember that you are not what you do or how you perform.Self-Esteem: Practice talking to yourself like you would a friend.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Qm9cGRub0SOCIAL MEDIAPRO’SFeels included bc 97% of teens use a social media platform45% are online almost constantlyProvides valuable supportEspecially those who experience exclusion, and those with disabilities, and chronic illnessesPlatform for self-expressionExposure to current events & learn about a variety of subjects, including healthy behaviorsAbility to break geographic barriersHumorous/distracting way to connect with peersWide social network could help teens avoid depressionCON’SDistract teens from their prioritiesDisrupts sleepExposes them to bullying, & rumor spreadingSets unrealistic views of other people's livesPeer pressureThe more teens use it, the stronger they believe that others are happier than themUsing it for social comparison or seeking feedback, is linked highly with depressionDevelopmentally teens are impulsive, which can lead to intimate/personal posts, resulting in bullying, harassment, or blackmailedWhat adults can do:Mayo Clinic:Limit social media use to less than 3 hours per day and less than 3 uses per daySet reasonable limits: avoid it interfering with activities, sleep, meals or homework.Monitor your teen’s accounts; and let them know you will be checking itExplain what is not okay: no gossiping, spreading rumors, bullying, or damaging someone's reputation, etc.Encourage face-to-face contact with friendsTalk about social media and remind them it is full of unrealistic imagesRemember that what keeps us from feeling like we deserve love and belonging, is believing that we do.