Athlete Services

Mental Health

We Are Team USA Mental Health Awareness Month graphic

 

Experiencing An Urgent Mental Health Issue?
If you or someone you know is experiencing an urgent mental health issue, we encourage you to text HOME to 741741, or call (800) 273-8255 to speak to a trained mental health responder. In the process of helping yourself, you may be inspiring courage in others to seek help as well.


Our Commitment 

As part of our mission, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee is committed to promoting sustained well-being for Team USA athletes. More than ever, it is critical that we empower those who are in need to seek assistance, while proactively delivering mental health resources and services.    

At the USOPC, we believe that competitive excellence and well-being work hand in hand, and at their best, reinforce one another. That is why we created the athlete services division in February 2019, to advance the support and resources available to Team USA athletes – specifically in the areas of athlete safety, mental health, wellness, and career and education. The new structure moved oversight of sports medicine and mental health to the athlete services division, creating separation between the people who support athlete wellness and those dedicated to athlete performance.  

For elite athletes, a healthy mindset includes balance, self-exploration, supportive relationships and a post-competition transition plan. With guidance from our dedicated team of medical and sport psychology providers, our external Mental Health Taskforce and Mental Health Officers, and collaboration with other industry leaders and sport organizations, the USOPC strives to be a trusted resource in this area. 

Together, the Team USA community is raising awareness around mental health, educating athletes – and our broader U.S. Olympic and Paralympic community – on available resources and empowering those in need to seek assistance.  

 

USOPC Services for Athletes

The USOPC also offers all athletes access to confidential counseling via ComPsych. To help athletes and their immediate families cope with the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), USOPC extended its ComPsych benefits program to all Team USA athletes, which provides unlimited 24/7 access to phone counseling with licensed mental health professionals, and other resources such as emotional and wellness support, financial and legal guidance, and more. Download this flyer for more information.

For more USOPC coronavirus updates and resources, click here.


Intel is supporting Team USA athletes during this unprecedented time by providing athletes access to tools that will help address the challenges created by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Through this service, Team USA athletes have access to hundreds of resources for focus, sleep, movement and more, including content designed for recovery, competition, training and motivation through Headspace Plus – a meditation and sleep app used by over 66 million people and clinically proven to reduce stress, improve happiness and increase focus. 

For Team USA athletes who are interested in accessing a Headspace membership, contact athleteservices@usopc.org.

Three independent mental health officers are working in collaboration with the USOPC’s athlete services division and external Mental Health Taskforce to develop a long-term mental health strategic plan that will further promote sustained and holistic athlete well-being. Since learning of the Games postponement to 2021, the officers’ immediate focus has centered on supporting the creation of a USOPC mental health registry, expanding telehealth offerings and developing an emergency action plan for the Team USA athlete community. Featuring various backgrounds and specialties, the mental health officers will be members of the USOPC’s Games staff in Tokyo as originally planned, and bring a variety of experiences to their new supporting roles.


Cody Commander, Olympic Mental Health Officer
Clinical and Sports Psychologist

Dr. Cody Commander is a clinical & sport psychologist. He is the owner of an interdisciplinary group private practice (Commander Counseling & Wellness) and is also the director of sport psychology for the University of Oklahoma athletics department. He received his doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Wright State University and completed his doctoral internship at Ball State University Counseling Center. He has worked in the clinical setting since 2003, treating various mental health disorders.

Dr. Commander is also a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) from the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and is in the USOPC Sport Psychology Registry. He has worked with several professional athletes and organizations, Olympic athletes and teams, collegiate athletes and programs, elite youth athletes, and the Oklahoma City Ballet.


Emily Klueh, Paralympic Mental Health Officer
LMSW

Klueh is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and a member of the athletic counseling team in the athletic department at the University of Michigan. Using evidence-based practices, Klueh’s primary responsibility is to provide mental health and sport performance clinical care and to aide in crisis management to student-athletes.

Klueh received her BA in psychology in 2010 from the University of Michigan and later graduated with a master’s degree in social work in 2016. She focuses her degree on social work in sports, working directly with student-athletes to improve their mental health and overall well-being.

Originally hailing from Kentucky, Klueh attended the University of Michigan on a swimming scholarship. While at Michigan, she became a NCAA champion and Big Ten Swimmer of the Year. She was an accomplished member of the U.S. National Swimming Team for 10 years and competed in two world championships, the Pan Pacific Championships, the Pan American Games and the World University Games.


Todd Stull, Paralympic Mental Health Officer
MD

Dr. Todd Stull is a medical doctor who is board certified in psychiatry and addiction medicine and has extensive clinical experience in evaluating and treating the mental health needs of college and professional athletes. Stull spent fifteen years at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in the athletic department. As the first full-time psychiatrist at an NCAA institution, Dr. Stull treated student-athletes from 24 sports for mental health and substance use issues.

He is active in numerous mental health initiatives concerning athletes. In 2018-2019, he served as a member of the International Olympic Committee Mental Health Work Group charged with developing mental health guidelines for Olympic athletes. He is serving in his second term as president of the International Society for Sports Psychiatry (ISSP), as well as sitting on the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.

Dr. Stull is board-certified in psychiatry and addiction medicine. He received his undergraduate degree from Hastings College, where he was the quarterback of the Bronco football team. Stull received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska and completed his residency at Creighton-Nebraska Department of Psychiatry. He has earned the IOC Certificate in Drugs in Sports and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Team USA athletes – and the coaches, officials and administrators who serve them – have access to an external Mental Health Taskforce in support to address mental health concerns and promote sustained and holistic well-being throughout their complete athlete journey.

The 13-member taskforce is comprised of U.S. Olympians, Paralympians, coaches, medical and mental health professionals who are charged with developing best practices, resources and action plans to support the mental health needs of Team USA athletes – before, during and after competition – and advise USOPC staff who frequently engage with athletes, on and off the field of play. The group was organized in February 2020 and meets on a monthly basis with additional touch points, as needed.

For more information on the taskforce, visit here.

The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee offers Team USA athletes access to sport psychologists, who work with athletes and coaches to develop mental skills to perform at their best on the world stage. Sport psychologists are assigned to work with athletes and coaches within specific sports, and all are licensed professionals who are certified to provide mental skills training, address mental health concerns and offer referrals as needed. In addition to personalized consultations, USOPC sport psychologists travel with teams to international competitions to support them on the road. Additionally, the staff offers group meetings that emphasize developing mindfulness skills, team building and improving performance outcomes and problem-solving skills under pressure.

The Colorado Springs Olympic & Paralympic Training Center features a training space dedicated to psychophysiology to help athletes create awareness of mental and physical responses and teach them how to train and enhance self-regulation skills. Training is personalized to each athlete and tailors to specific sport demands.

Athletes are encouraged to contact their sport’s high-performance director to learn more and verify eligibility. 

Athletes also have access to more than 150 mental health providers via the USOPC’s sport psychology registry. Providers are available nationwide and screened by the USOPC for education and credentials in sport psychology. Athletes do not have to be eligible for Elite Athlete Health Insurance to take advantage of this benefit. 

Providers typically charge for services and it is the athlete’s responsibility to discuss costs directly with the medical provider. Providers may offer pro bono hours to athletes on a case-by-case basis as determined by the athlete’s National Governing Body. 

For more information, or to connect with a service provider, contact the sport sciences team at cs.sportscience@usopc.org. If you are an interested service provider, please click here for more information. 

Resources

Athlete Stories