Who am I & Why am I Here...
...was in social services. After I got my B.S. in Psychology, I managed a Crisis Shelter for several years prior to having my children. My expertise was in creating and maintaining programming as well as reviewing program constructs to streamline policies & procedures, ultimately to improve care to our clients.
...has always been college sports. My family and I have supported several college athletic programs through season tickets, athletic board appointment as well as through scholarships.
In 2015, I had a medical diagnosis that challenged me to consider how I was living my life... am I doing what I am called to do? Am I making a difference? The short answer was NO.
Four years ago I had 2 HS athletes in our local County School System (1 in Football & another in CREW) it prompted me to dig into research on College Athlete Mental Health systems. I was highly alarmed at the lack of support structures and the education that “wasn't” happening. During this time something interesting happened, my alma mater's basketball program had an incident, that for me brought clarity as to what I needed to be doing. A player missed a few critical free-throws in the last minute of a game and we didn't win. Trending through the night was his roasting on social media, enough where he woke up earlier than normal the next few days to go to the gym and practice free-throws. So alarmed by this and understanding the toll college sports can take on our young athletes...I knew I was called to do something. It’s at this point that I began the journey of graduate school and merging my skillset with my passion. I went back to school and got my Master's of Education from VCU's Center for Sport Leadership where I focused on SA mental health. The CSL at VCU along with my contacts in the college athletic landscape have given me access to dig deep into what our student athletes (SAs) need for mental health support.
Although, my journey was college athletics it has quickly expanded beyond that level due to the tremendous need across all levels.
I am constantly synthesizing new research and analyzing my own research to create data-driven programming for all levels & types of Sports entities; including Professional sport organizations and their players, College Athletic departments and High School sports.
I am currently writing up the first set of data-points for my College Athlete Mental Health research.
My advocacy lies in what I believe are the most central pieces of Athlete & Player Mental Health: 1) we need to begin the Mental Health conversation in High School 2) every college athletics program should have Mental Health services embedded within the Athletic Village. This may look differently based on size of the institution but the goal remains the same. Research shows there are many barriers to SAs seeking the help they need and I am committed to get that information out to College Administrators and Athletic Directors, and 3) We need to break athlete stigma and educate Athletes at ALL levels from AAU - Professional.
I am thrilled to be a part a national conversation about Athlete Mental Health. The focus of my business is Research - Advocacy - Education. I hope you find this website full of helpful information as well as a place to ask questions.
Please feel free to contact me with any question you may have.