May 25, 2024

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Mind, body and sport: Addressing the mental health challenges student athletes face

SPOKANE, Wash. – Previous West Valley Eagle Rachel McGlothlen was a multi-sport star who went on to be a part of two nationwide championships with the University of Washington rowing crew. 

She is another person who knows firsthand the troubles of mental health and fitness for youthful athletes. 

“I was really athletic growing up. I was constantly receiving that reassurance and validation from other individuals and that is some thing I struggled with immensely when I got to UW since all of the unexpected, I was a quite tiny fish in a really big lake and my mental wellbeing was impacted by that,” McGlothlen mentioned. 

She stated she has generally struggled with anxiety and melancholy, but it shifted in higher education and was just about frustrating. 

“What I was suffering from in collegiate athletics was just this about-arching form of emotion of doom, like I’m never ever gonna be as speedy as I want to be, but I am pushing as tough as I can,” McGlothlen reported. 

It was a burden that essential aid, but even knowing her coaches would be there, McGlothlen admits she did not want them to look at her in different ways as an athlete. So, she experienced to go to another person else. 

“So, I went to a single of the crew docs and reported ‘Hey look, I don’t believe I’m accomplishing so perfectly. Can I get some assistance?’ And we talked through it. It was this sort of a fantastic tutorial and they obtained me a therapist,” McGlothlen claimed. 

A therapist that served her see just what she was working with, even if that issue would not make a whole lot of perception to these outdoors the athletics earth. 

“That’s variety of when I 1st received that prognosis of, I have situational depression from college or university athletics, which is these kinds of a considered because so many people, athletics are just all nice and sweet with a small cherry on top rated, but the athletes them selves go by way of so much,” she reported. 

There was a massive change in her time at UW that surely was catapulted by the stunning news coming out of their rival faculty. 

“So when the Hilinski problem happened, it was a shell shock for even the athletes at UW. We’re rivals, but psychological overall health transcends all of that, we’re all scholar athletes,” McGlothlen mentioned. 

McGlothlen and another athlete at UW helped form the initial mental wellness method in the school’s athletics division. “The Pac” is a safe put to chat to other athletes who might realize what they are heading via. 

“It was not that all the unexpected much more people were going through it, these individuals are enduring it no issue what, just is there a platform now to discuss about it?” McGlothlen reported. 

And what she has figured out by way of the resources supplied to her as a scholar-athlete is how vital it is to have that risk-free space to communicate. 

“I assume opening the place for male athletes as effectively, result in there is this impression around athletes in general getting to be solid and hard, which is a misconception,” McGlothlen claimed. “It’s in no way negative to communicate about suicide if you’re looking at symptoms, it’s not heading to make someone additional probably to complete that, that is what study demonstrates, so constantly opening the place to be susceptible, to be sincere, and transparent with it trigger that will help enormously in the very long operate.”