Administration

Next on WPSU’s ‘Digging Deeper:’ College athletics and mental health

President Eric Barron’s show airs at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 14

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State President Eric Barron and Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren will discuss the importance of mental health among college athletes, the challenges they face and what the Big Ten is doing to support them, during the next episode of WPSU’s “Digging Deeper” on Sunday, Nov. 14.

WPSU’s “Digging Deeper: College Athletics and Mental Health" will air at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on WPSU-TV and can be streamed on live.wpsu.org. WPSU is a Penn State Outreach service.

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren discusses the importance of mental health among college athletes on WPSU's "Digging Deeper" on Sunday, Nov. 14. Credit: WPSU

Warren says supporting the mental health and wellness of the Big Ten’s more than 9,500 student-athletes is one of his priorities.

“We have to be smart as a society to make sure that we take care of our young people,” Warren said. “We’re thoughtful in how we manage our student-athletes, and the biggest thing is to provide them with resources on campuses, where they're able to go and get the help that they need and to really grow.”

Warren established the Big Ten Mental Health and Wellness Cabinet in Dec. 2019 to promote optimal mental health for student-athletes. Comprised of 32 individuals representing a wide range of disciplines, it includes mental health educators, medical doctors, faculty athletic representatives and senior woman administrators.

In conjunction with the cabinet’s formation, the Big Ten provides student-athletes, coaches, full-time members of university athletic departments and conference staff members with free, unlimited access to the mental fitness app Calm, which has more than 100 hours of original audio content on topics ranging from anxiety to stress, gratitude, sleep and more.

Warren says mental health support from the conference and the member institutions’ university leadership has helped remove the stigma associated with mental health.

“People now are comfortable, not only for themselves, but for others to come forward and say, ‘We need some help,’” he said. “I want our student-athletes to feel as comfortable about the way that they talk about their recovery from an ACL injury, as the same way that they can talk about issues they're dealing with from mental health and wellness.”

At Penn State, all undergraduate and graduate students have access to the University’s counseling and psychological services (CAPS). CAPS offers a wide range of services, including wellness and self-help options; group, individual and couples counseling; crisis intervention; psychiatric services; virtual services; and community education and outreach services for the University community.

WPSU’s “Digging Deeper” explores how work being done at the University impacts the broader community. Penn State senior Andrew Destin serves as co-host and rounds out each episode by asking Barron questions that are on the minds of students, faculty, staff and community members.

Visit the WPSU website for more information on central Pennsylvania’s public media station.

Last Updated November 09, 2021

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