Universities are studying the mental health of athletes after the recent crises

Late last summer, two Indiana State University football players were killed in a car accident.

A little over a week ago, three college football players

They are killed when a former teammate shoots them.

Either way, university leaders needed to come up with a plan to support their colleagues and friends of the deceased students.

Sherard Clinksdale is the director of athletics or sports for Indiana State. He had to find ways to help the students work through their grief. He also had the difficult task of telling football Fitness Trainer And parents of students that their children died.

“There is no playbook Clinksdale said.

At the University of Virginia, Carla Williams holds the best athletic job. When news came of the students’ deaths on November 14, the university canceled classes and other school activities for two days. The school did not play the next football game either.

Mourners join arms during a memorial service for three slain University of Virginia football players Lavelle Davis Jr., Desann Perry and Devin Chandler at John Paul Jones Arena on November 19, 2022. REUTERS)

Mourners join arms during a memorial service for three slain University of Virginia football players Lavelle Davis Jr., Desann Perry and Devin Chandler at John Paul Jones Arena on November 19, 2022. REUTERS)

Mental health professionals and trained dogs on show comfort They are available to students. Williams said it was important to provide counselors to all students, not just those who were part of the athletic team.

In recent years, college sports leaders say they have paid more attention to the mental health of their students. A study conducted in 2019 showed that university presidents pay more attention to the mental health of students.

But in 2021, A.J Exploratory study of college athletes found that only 53 percent of those questioned believe their coaches take mental health seriously.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, oversees college sports in the United States. Nor does it have the power to get colleges to change their mental health policies. But they do provide tools that schools can use to help students.

Sunday Henry is a physician working with students at Washington State University. She helped the soccer team there deal with player deaths in 2018 and 2019. The first part of the plan, Henry said, is to get all the team members together to tell them what happened and ways they can get help.

She said she thinks college football coaches are getting better at getting athletes to get mental health help. In the past, some players and coaches believed that getting help was a sign of weakness.

As Henry the Mathematical said trainers They are usually the best at noticing problem athletes. Coaches spend a lot of time with students who are recovering from injuries.

Tony Elliott is the head football coach at the University of Virginia. He said he wanted to support his players. “Nothing can prepare you for this situation,” he added.

Brian Blair is the athletic director at the University of Toledo, Ohio. He worked on sports at Washington State University when the players died there. Blair said many of the adults in the athletic department have taken a class called Mental Health First Aid.

He said adults who work on college sports and who are often in contact with students should be a “resource for student-athletes.”

Curt Mallory is the head football coach at Indiana State. He said he makes time every Monday to meet with his student-athletes, even if they seem to be doing well.

At San Jose State University in California, the coaches had to respond to the death of a player who was hit by a bus in October. The next football match has been postponed. The football coaches worked to help the student’s family and plan a memorial service.

San Jose State Spartans coach Brent Brennan wears a jersey in honor of his player who was killed in a bus crash during the game on November 5, 2022. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

San Jose State Spartans coach Brent Brennan wears a jersey in honor of his player who was killed in a bus accident during the game on November 5, 2022. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

The next week, the school played its game and won. Deceased player Camdan McCreight was honored during a private ceremony. His family was there to see the memorial.

Jeff Konya is the school’s athletic director. He was watching the sports teams that week. He worked in college sports for 36 years. In that time, he said, the leaders in college sports have gotten better at prioritization Psychological health.

“We are in a better position now,” he said. However, he noted that things could still go wrong. “Not It cannot be used badlyKonya said.

I’m Faith Pirlo. And I’m Dan Friedel.

Dan Friedel adapted this story for VOA Learning English based on reporting from the Associated Press.

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words in this story

Fitness Trainer-n. A person who trains or teaches an athlete

playbook -n. A book that contains mathematical games but in this case it is a guide to best practices and ideas

Adviser -n. Someone who is trained to help people with problems or concerns

comfort -n. A state of not feeling anxious or upset during a period of emotional pain

Exploratory study -n. An activity in which questions are asked of a number of people in order to gather information about what the most people think about something

Coach-n. A person who assists in the recovery or preparation of athletes for exercise

define the priorities -Fifth. To make something the most important or the first in a series of activities

It cannot be used badly -din. Something hard to understand

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