The current mental health crisis is affecting athletes in significant and concerning ways. Several contemporary or newly-appreciated factors may be interacting to contribute to this crisis and to its impact in sport. Those factors include: emerging adulthood as a particularly challenging phase of life; discrimination and racism; increasing professionalization of sports at younger ages; lack of mental health literacy and resources; the impact of technology and the 24/7 world; and the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, at the same time, mental health stigma is showing signs of lessening. To further decrease stigma and enhance help-seeking, all stakeholders should appreciate mental health as inseparable from other aspects of physical health in athletes. Simultaneous with working to decrease risk factors in sport, we should work to optimize protective factors. Specifically, we should work toward a culture of mental health literacy, cultural competency, and positive supports in the sporting environment.
Skip Nav Destination
Research Article| January 27 2023
The Mental Health Crisis in Sports: The Perfect Storm of Contemporary Factors
Claudia L. Reardon, M.D.
Claudia L. Reardon, M.D.
Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, 6001 Research Park Boulevard, Madison, WI 53719, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1.608.263.6100
Search for other works by this author on:
J Athl Train (2023)
Claudia L. Reardon; The Mental Health Crisis in Sports: The Perfect Storm of Contemporary Factors. J Athl Train 2023; doi: https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6050-0484.22
Download citation file:
The Ability of Vestibular and Oculomotor Screenings to Predict Recovery in Patients Following Concussion: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Mitchell Barnhart, MS, ATC, R. Curtis Bay, PhD, Tamara Valovich McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA
The Presence of Organizational-Professional Conflict in the Collegiate and Secondary School Practice Settings: A Sequential Mixed Methods Study
William A. Pitney, EdD, ATC, FNATA, Stephanie M. Singe, PhD, ATC, FNATA, Tyler Wood, PhD, ATC, Nicholas E. Grahovec, PhD, ATC, CSCS
Utility of the CCAPS Screen in a Collegiate Athlete Population
Kate Higgins, PsyD, ABPP-CN, Brett Woods, PhD, CMPC, Brett Haskell, PhD, CMPC, Mariah Bullock, PhD, Rachel Rogers, MS, Nedu Izuegbunam, M.Ed.
Mild Hemophilia In A Competitive High School Soccer Player: A Case Report
Omole Oluwakorede, BA, Reed Joan, ATC, Amy L Dunn, MD, N Gleason Courtney, MD
Playing with pain: knee, low back, and shoulder problems rampant among university and professional volleyball players
Christopher Skazalski, PT, DPT, ATC, Rod Whiteley, PT, PhD, Tine Sattler, PhD, Tilen Kozamernik, Roald Bahr, MD, PhD
The Design and Implementation of a Novel Mental Health Literacy Educational Intervention Program in Gaelic Footballers
Sinéad O'Keeffe, PhD, CAT, Niamh Ní Chéilleachair, PhD, Anna Donnla O'Hagan, PhD, Mark Campbell, PhD, Siobhán O'Connor, PhD, MSc, CAT
Lower Extremity Energy Dissipation and Generation During Jump Landing and Cutting among Groups with Chronic Ankle Instability, Copers, and Controls
Seunguk Han, MS, ATC, Minsub Oh, MS, ATC, Hyunwook Lee, MS, ATC, J. Ty Hopkins, PhD, ATC, FNATA, FACSM
Effects of Contact/Collision Sport History on Patient Reported Outcomes in Early to Mid-Adulthood
Katherine J. Hunzinger, PhD, CEP, Jaclyn B. Caccese, PhD, Rebekah Mannix, MD, MPH, William P. Meehan, III, MD, C. Buz Swanik, PhD, ATC, Thomas A. Buckley, EdD, ATC