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Depression & Suicide Among Youth Athletes

Depression & Suicide Among Youth Athletes

anxiety coaches communication competition depression emotions empathy feelings isolation judgement mental health pressure rejection resources safe spaces suicide vulnerability

Mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and suicide are becoming increasingly prevalent in young athletes. The intense competition and pressure they face in the sporting world can often be overwhelming, leaving them feeling isolated and vulnerable. It is therefore essential that these conditions not be overlooked or brushed aside—but instead approached holistically, with empathy and understanding.

Athletes must be given the support they need to cope with such difficult emotions in a healthy manner. Coaches should be knowledgeable of warning signs and trained to intervene when necessary. Additionally, those involved in youth sports should strive to create an environment of open communication where athletes feel comfortable expressing their feelings without fear of judgement or rejection.

We may not always know what exactly goes on behind closed doors when it comes to mental health; but by establishing safe spaces for honest conversations and equipping young athletes with resources to help manage their emotions, we can make sure everyone has the support they need during trying times. Not only will this allow our upcoming generations of competitors to thrive—it will keep us all better connected as well.


Jeff Wong
MSM Foundation
Director of Grants Management


We're building a movement beginning this March where mental health and mental performance are foundational components of development in sports.

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