Mental Health

We Are Team USA Mental Health Awareness Month graphic

 

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month
The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee joins the nationwide movement to promote Mental Health Awareness Month in May through its “We Are Team USA” campaign. The promotion of “in this together” is focused on raising awareness around mental health resources and needs within the Team USA community and promoting a culture that encourages proactively seeking and delivering mental health support for everyone.


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.

 

USOPC Services for Athletes

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 Karen Cogan, USOPC Sr. sport psychologist at (karen.cogan@usopc.org).  

The USOPC also offers eligible athletes access to confidential counseling year-round via ComPsych. Through this program, athletes who are identified as eligible to receive Elite Athlete Health Insurance have access to unlimited phone counseling with a licensed professional and up to six in-person counseling sessions with a local provider at no cost. This service is also available to dependents for qualified athletes. For more information, call 1-800-428-2716 or visit guidanceresources.com.

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 certified professionals, and other resources such as emotional and wellness support, financial and legal guidance, and more.

For more USOPC coronavirus updates and resources, click here.


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.

Resources and Athlete Stories