Mental Health of Student-Athletes at Saint Peter’s University

By: Cara McNulty

Videos By Cara McNulty

Mentality vs. Sports

By: Cara McNulty

Nowadays, when you hear about Saint Peter’s University you automatically go straight to thinking about the historical run the men’s basketball team had this year. You don’t hear anything behind the scenes about the other athletes. Also, mental health isn’t talked about as much throughout the whole campus. It is important to start spreading awareness about mental well-being as a student-athlete. 

As I was walking to class one day, I decided to chat with my fellow athlete friend about his mental health. I asked about how he stays positive throughout the season and if there is any communication between his team or coach about his mental well-being. 

“ Our coach always asks us how we are doing during our tournaments trying to keep us positive and always checks in on us to make sure we are doing okay. During my season, I stay positive by realizing there are things I cannot control and the only thing I can control is myself and how I react to things. This really calms me down because it puts into perspective what you should worry about as you shouldn’t worry about what you can’t control,” said Caleb Rossi, Senior Golf player at Saint Peter’s University.

In the last seven days, three student-athletes at U.S. colleges have tragically passed away. Collectively this year sixteen student-athletes died from suicide. This is hard on the whole athletic community. Imagine being a teammate of one of the victims and you thought they were perfectly fine one day and nothing ever seemed off with them. That is the scariest part, we never know when someone is at their lowest. Being a student-athlete is a hard job. It is a struggle to keep straight A’s and then go to practice for three hours playing at your best. We never know what is going on behind the scenes after an athlete’s day is over.

College athletics have multiple athletic trainers and doctors specifically for the athletes. There are also gyms and a variety of coaches for them as well for strength training. When a student-athlete is fighting depression they have to go to the same campus counseling center as the rest of the students. At Saint Peter’s there is a minimal amount of mental health clinicians that are there to help every student. 

The nonprofit organization Morgan’s Message gives resources and expertise to confront student-athlete mental health. Their message is “ Strives to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health within the student-athlete community and equalize the treatment of physical and mental health in athletics. We aim to expand the dialogue on mental health by normalizing conversations, empowering those who suffer in silence, and supporting those who feel alone.” 

Saint Peter’s does have a program called CAPS, where students can address their issues that interfere with school, personal growth, or social development. But this program isn’t that well known. It is important to address issues like access to more clinicians, and organizations for the well-being of our student-athletes. At the end of the day, mental health and performance are just as important as physical health and performance. 

If you are in need of someone to talk to contact, (201) 761-6420 to schedule an appointment. CAPS business hours are Monday through Friday 9:00-5:00.  Appointments are usually made within 24-48 hours depending on student availability, same-day appointments are subject to clinician availability.