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Rose Table Dialogues: Mental Health of Athletes

The Rose Bowl Institute Center on Innovation will address issues of athlete mental health in a Rose Table Dialogue to be held December 5-6, 2022. 

The convening will begin with dinner on the evening of December 5 and continue with two sessions the following morning at the Charles Young Locker Room at the Rose Bowl.

Session I. The Problem of Mental Health in Athletics

While physical injuries can be easily detected with X-Rays or other diagnostics, mental health ailments often exist without proper recognition.  Even when there appears to be something wrong, athletes often feel they just need to push through it, or that it signals weakness. Yet, the stresses of athletic competition, paired with athletic drive (or a striving for perfection) create many opportunities for mental health issues to arise.  In this session, participants will identify the problems inherent in mental health issues with athletes such as reluctance to admit to problems, the appearance of weakness or non-athleticism, lack of recognition by coaches and parents, and other ways that mental health issues play out in sports.

  • What issues arise that prevent early and effective diagnoses of mental health problems?
  • How can athletes, coaches, parents, and others best recognize mental issues at early stages?
  • What impediments remain that prevent recognition and treatment of mental health issues?

Session II.  Towards a Culture of Understanding and Solutions

Once problems are identified, athletes, coaches, and parents need to move toward the resolution of the problems.  The stigma of mental health issues needs to disappear, recognition of signs of mental health issues needs to increase, and solutions adopted.  This session will explore how teams, parents, coaches, and athletes can move to address mental health issues in ways that are most conducive to resolving issues and improving the athlete’s health. 

  • What are the best ways to remove the stigma of mental health issues?
  • How can teams, coaches, parents, and teammates help athletes with mental health issues?
  • Where can athletes turn for help when their immediate surroundings are exacerbating rather than helping the situation?

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