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Utah Athletics Supporting Student-Athletes Mental Health With U Giving Day

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The University of Utah athletics department is encouraging people to donate to the first U Giving Day campaign.

Gifts directly affects student-athlete mental health and provide funds to their psychology and wellness departments.

“The mental health and well-being of our student-athletes at the University of Utah is a major priority for this department,” Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Support Services and Senior Woman Administrator Nona Richardson said. “Our goal is to be a leader in the Pac-12 in providing the necessary staffing and support that our student-athletes need and deserve. With the generous support of our benefactors, we can make this a reality.”

People are encouraged to spread the news about U Giving Day on social media by using the hashtags #UAreWorthIt and #UAreNotAlone.

On Monday, the Pac-12 Conference approved measures to extend the Student-Athlete Health and Well-Being Initiative for five years to support on-campus mental health services.

Here are some facts that tie to mental health:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depression affects 20 to 25 percent of Americans age 18 and older.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages 15 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • According to the National College Health Assessment Data, one in three male student-athletes reported feeling “overwhelming anxiety,” and nearly half of all female student-athletes who reported.
  • National College Health Assessment Data also found that 27 percent of female student-athletes and one in five male student-athletes reported feeling “so depressed it was difficult to function” in the past year.
  • The NCAA Study of Social Environments said that 83 percent of all female student-athletes and two in three males ask for help dealing with stress or other mental well-being issues.
  • According to data from the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, track and field, soccer, softball, baseball and lacrosse are the NCAA sports where depressive symptoms are among student-athletes are most prevalent.