Following the recent news of USA Gymnastics appointing a new VP for athlete health and wellness initiatives with a focus on mental health, USA Swimming have teamed up with Talkspace to deliver similar schemes. Talkspace, an online, global therapy service hosting numerous licensed mental health professionals and USA Swimming have initiated a FREE mental health service for all national team athletes.
The service will focus on athlete health beyond physical condition, training and competition. The collaborative effort aims to support athletes with mental development and especially life after swimming. USA Swimming recognise the impact that retirement from sport can have on mental health and have made counselling and mental development services easily accessible for their athletes.
In a statement, USA Swimming and Managing Director, Lindsey Mintenko and Talkspace Chief Commercial Officer, Lynn Hamilton, expressed their hopes for this partnership “…creating a legion of inspiring role models for the younger generations to further the dialogue to stamp out the stigma.” They added “[access to Talkspace] gives athletes the opportunity to achieve their peak mental performance in a de-stigmatised, flexible way,”
Another proactive initiative set in motion, where the intention is to develop mental skills and provide general support for athletes during various times of their athletic career. It’s important to note that this co-operation is an active step to educating and preparing athletes for retirement, as opposed to waiting for athletes to experience mental health problems before offering a solution.
The positivity embedded in the launch is exactly the type of move that will dissolve the stigma of mental health in sport.
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