U of M program successfully addresses mental illness

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By Carleigh Turner

There has been much talk about illness on college campuses, and colleges are slowly adjusting to combat these issues. However, there is one sector that needs more attention—student athletes.

In a 2014 survey of approximately 7,000 students from nine colleges and universities, only 10 percent of athletes used mental health services compared to the 30 percent of nonathletic students, according to the Healthy Bodies Study. Within this group, 47 percent agreed that most people think less of someone who received mental health treatment.

In light of these statistics, the NCAA has given the University of Michigan a $50,000 grant so the college can begin to promote its new Athletes Connected program. The program is a collaboration between the university’s Depression Center, School of Public Health and Athletics Department that will work to ensure its athletes are receiving proper mental healthcare. In addition to the U of M grant, the NCAA awarded five $10,000 grants to other universities.

One way the university is getting the message out about Athletes Connected is by uploading videos of prominent student athletes who have dealt with mental illness during their collegiate athletic careers. These videos, directed by William Del Rosario, are a monumental step in the arduous process of addressing and breaking down the negative stigma surrounding mental illness.

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