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Supporting student-athlete mental health issues

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – It’s the start of the school year, which means many student athletes are heading to the classroom and the field. While many may be feeling excited about the start of the season, some student athletes are feeling the pressure to perform well.

According to a recent study, student-athletes continue to report high levels of mental health issues.

Many schools in Southeast Minnesota have school-related mental health services that provide schools with on-site therapists to help not only our student-athletes, but all students and staff.

According to this same study, anxiety and depression among student athletes are 1.5 to twice as high as before the pandemic.

“They missed some of that socialization. It really takes patience and some support for these kids to catch up to where they would have been,” said Katherine Driskell, clinical program manager for mental health services at Family Service Rochester School.

Students may feel pressured not only to perform well in class, but also in the field or field.

“The whole plate is too much and what I was able to handle but didn’t like, I have no patience for that,” Driskell said.

“What I see a lot more are kids who think they have to play individual sports and focus on that sport and play that sport all year round which I don’t think is beneficial. nor healthy for children. And I think that pressure, sometimes we just forget to allow kids to be kids,” said Dover-Eyota Activities Director Tim Andring.

With the rise of mental health issues among students, schools are investing in mental health resources and bringing therapists on-site to speak with students during the school day.

“It makes it easier to access mental health services that would otherwise keep kids out of school longer than they otherwise would,” Driskell said.

Mental health experts encourage coaches and other school staff to create an environment where children feel comfortable talking about their mental health.

“So that’s where students and coaches can really step in and make a gigantic difference that they may never know,” Driskell said.

“We’re a small enough district that we can build relationships, and building those relationships helps monitor whether a child is in trouble,” Andring said.

While it can be easy to get caught up in gambling, school staff say it’s important to remember the reason for gambling.

“I think sometimes we lose sight of what’s really important and that’s the relationship that kids form with those other adults and their teammates and those experiences,” Andring said.

Every school in Minnesota has some sort of school counselor or social worker to support their students. You can contact your school district to find out how to request assistance.

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