U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee kicks off Mental Health Awareness Month with launch of mental health provider registry and mental health support line
The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee today joins the movement to promote Mental Health Awareness Month by announcing the launch of an online registry of mental health providers and unveiling an around-the-clock mental health support line for Team USA athletes. These resources are the latest developments in the USOPC’s ongoing commitment to promote sustained athlete well-being and normalize mental health for all.
“The launch of these mental health initiatives demonstrates the commitment the USOPC has in providing easily accessible support and resources to U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes across the globe,” said Dr. Jessica Bartley, USOPC mental health services director. “The development and launch of these resources took an immense amount of collaboration and personalization so that each Team USA athlete is able to easily utilize these resources.”
The mental health registry allows Olympic and Paralympic athletes the option to search for licensed mental health providers located across the country that can provide both in-person services as well as telehealth appointments. The providers housed in the registry are experienced, licensed mental health providers who have completed a background screening, SafeSport training and anti-doping training. Mental health providers in the registry include social workers, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists who all have experience working with elite athletes. Team USA athletes can select their preferred provider on the registry, connect with them directly and schedule an appointment tailored to their specific needs.
The USOPC has also launched a confidential support line available to Team USA athletes, domestically and internationally, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Team USA athletes have immediate access to a licensed mental health provider who can assist in the management of mental health crises or provide resources related to mental health and wellness anywhere in the world.
The USOPC has made this resource easily accessible with the acquired WellTrack™ app, which provides athletes with online tools and courses that incorporate cognitive behavioral therapy to help them identify, understand and address their mental health concerns. This app connects directly to the new mental health support line to streamline all requests and resources.
“We are thrilled to announce these expanded services for Team USA athletes,” said Bahati VanPelt, USOPC chief of athlete services. “Continuing to be intentional about improving and building resources to support athletes’ mental health and well-being remains a priority for our organization.”
The launch of the registry and the support line are the most recent mental health support services the USOPC is providing to athletes, joining its previous enhancements through the implementation of independent mental health officers, the formation of an external Mental Health Taskforce, and the hiring of Dr. Jessica Bartley as director of mental health services for Team USA.
In addition to joining the global conversation across Team USA digital channels throughout Mental Health Awareness Month, athletes and fans can join Wellness with Team USA presented by DeVry University. Hosted by five-time Olympic swimming champion Missy Franklin, this series of panels explores the many off-the-field skills that athletes master to be at the top of their game, including eating nutritiously, focusing on mental health and maintaining a healthy competition-life balance. The series will feature athletes and professionals to ensure authentic and dynamic discussions with many perspectives.
More details on the mental health programs and services available to athletes can be found at TeamUSA.org/MentalHealth.