Two years ago the NCAA was dealing with a lot of negative publicity surrounding concussions sustained by their student athletes. At the time, many former players joined together to bring a lawsuit against the college sports organization. To deal with the controversy, the NCAA brought on neurologist Brian Hainline to serve as the organization’s chief medical officer.
The recent apparent suicide by an Ohio State football player has re-ignited discussion not only about the potential dangers of concussions, but also the availability of mental health services to elite athletes.
When Kosta Karageorge went missing, the school joined his family in making public appeals for help in finding the senior football player. When his body was discovered in a dumpster along with a phone that contained text messages referring to concussions, many began to openly question the possible link between injury and depression.
Recently, over 1,000 college coaches received an extensive manual titled Mind, Body and Sport: Understanding and Supporting Student Athlete Mental Wellness. The manual discusses mental health issues athletes may be dealing with such as eating disorders, anxiety, substance abuse and depression.
The idea that college level athletes are somehow immune to these mental health conditions may be finally being put to rest. While numerous studies have shown that student athletes experience fewer mental health problems compared to the general population, that does not mean they are immune to mental health struggles. And whether or not injuries like concussions may actually contribute to conditions such as depression is a subject needing further investigation.
If you think that you may be experiencing depression or any other mental health concern, Family Guidance is here for you. Call us today and let us help you assess your mental wellness. Depression, anxiety and other disorders are very treatable, but it is important to reach out and ask for help.