Sport Psychology: Athlete Mental Health and Optimal Performance
Saturday May 21


SPEAKER: Benjamin Strack PhD

We are facing unprecedented mental health crises among people of all ages. Two out of five adults report symptoms of anxiety or depression. Even before the pandemic, rates of depression and anxiety were climbing. Over 50% of parents worry over their children’s mental and emotional well-being. We’ve seen breakthroughs in awareness with disclosures from top athletes about their mental struggles and the pressures they face on the world stage. Professional and Olympic Athletes are recognizing their roles as leaders in the lime-light but at times fail to see they are human first and then lose sight on how to keep their mental health in check -mental health inevitably takes the back seat over the need to win or maintain high level status or to be indestructible. Do high performance athletes fail to recognize that being physically ready to perform does not guarantee mental readiness? What can we do to improve the awareness around mental health red flags? What resources are in place to help struggling athletes cope with the rigors of their high achieving lifestyle? As health care providers, how can we help our patients bridge the gap between their physical and mental health?