Spotlight on Student Athletes

RADical Health Supports Student Athletes

A series of recent high profile tragedies across the college sports landscape has drawn new attention to some of the unique pressures student athletes face as they navigate the rigors of competition along with the regular demands of college life.

Over the last year, we have worked with our school partners to support and celebrate student athletes through RADical Health, providing opportunities for skill-building as well as safe spaces for open dialogue. The power of connecting with peers to engage on issues related to – and beyond – their roles as athletes is evidenced by the feedback from student and Guide participants in RADical Health.

Current and former student athletes have shared their feelings around: 

  • The desire to be seen as more than “just an athlete;”
  • “Silent suffering:” living under pressure to not show weakness or sadness;
  • The value of safe space discussion groups with their teammates and peers;
  • The need for better language to describe their feelings;
  • The power of guidance from current and former student and professional athletes.

This fall, RADical Health will partner with twenty-five schools to support their students’ mental, physical and emotional health. In addition, we will reach young adults outside the school structure through major league sports organizations and community groups. Stay tuned for details in the month ahead!

Life is a Lot Like Sports… RADical Hope’s New PSA

Competitive sports provide a framework for proven adaptive coping strategies that teach resilience and empathy, and foster long-term mental wellness.

As we expand our work with young adults, we are set to launch two new Public Service Announcements: Life is a Lot Like Sports. These PSAs highlight the value of life lessons learned through athletics. The films were produced by our creative partner, Wondros, and will air across the country in the months ahead.

Click below for a first look at our initial release!

The Power of Connectivity

Two student athletes, Cailin Welles Bracken of the Vanderbilt University lacrosse team and Maxwell Costes of the University of Maryland baseball team, have publicly shared their mental health struggles and the impact their communities’ support had when they needed it most.

In her Open Letter to College Sports, Bracken appeals to teammates, coaches, parents, and school administrators to focus on the mental health of student athletes imploring leadership to “put the person before the student or the athlete otherwise we are at risk of losing all three.”

During his most difficult period, Costes received support from his coaching staff and the University of Maryland Athletic Department. Costes later shared his experience with depression – and how he overcame his darkest days – by contributing an essay to his school newspaper. 

These personal stories and appeals for support echo the experiences of many RADical Health student athlete participants. Both Bracken and Costes credit their coaches and teammates with their recovery. Strengthening connections is a core tenet of our work at RADical Hope. 

Cailin Welles Bracken; Maxwell Costes

NFL joins the RADical Hope Mission 

In case you missed it, RADical Hope is proud to share our support from the National Football League. This relationship with the league and several of its teams will drive our mission to bring RADical Health to as many young people as possible. We are honored that the National Football League and Commissioner Roger Goodell are funding our work to empower young adults with skills and resources wherever they are.

The New York Football Giants, The Arthur Blank Family Foundation of Atlanta, GA, the New England Patriots Foundation, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Baltimore Ravens have also committed their support to further drive the impact and reach of our programming.

What we’re listening to now… Nike’s newest podcast!

Listen on Spotify HERE
New episodes are released every Tuesday!

As part of Nike’s larger initiative to support mental health in the sports world they created No Off-Season. “The goal of the podcast is to show those facing mental health challenges that they are not alone and that is strength in asking for help,” the podcast’s official press release stated. Vanessa Garcia-Brito, Vice-President of Communications at Nike, shares, “we know that in order for athletes to be successful it is important to cultivate a healthy mind and body for everyday life.”

The podcast will feature empathetic conversations between Nike athletes and Crisis Text Line’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shairi Turner and Natalia Dayan. Every Tuesday a new episode will be released connecting listeners with a broader community of support. Confirmed guests will include athletes like Karl-Anthony Towns, Laurie Hernandez, and Raven Saunders, among others. Tune in with us!

Thanks to our generous supporters, RADical Hope fully funds every aspect of RADical Health at every school.