PEORIA (WEEK) — May is mental health awareness month and student athletes are just one of many groups impacted by mental health, especially since the start of the pandemic.
The NCAA surveyed nearly 25,000 student athletes last year and found that many felt overwhelmed, mentally exhausted, anxious and lonley.
Derrick Booth is the Director of Social Media/Emotional Learning for Peoria Public Schools.
He says he believes mental health awareness among student athletes at all ages is extremely important.
“Student athletes have so much on their plates,” Booth said. “The pressures of performing on the baseball field or the basketball court, but in addition to maintaining their academics, but also, they’re still managing their personal life.
“It’s important that when you see students that are not being themselves or having a bad day, to pull them to the side and to talk to them and to let them know that you’re someone they can trust.”
Booth says there is still a long way to go to break the stigma around mental health and it’s important to be your own mental health champion.