Background

The Mental Health working group firmly believes that mental health cannot be separated from physiological health. Many factors affect mental health in individuals, including (but not limited to) work, relationships, illnesses, and financial hardships. 

The prevalence of mental health in elite athletes ranges from 4% to 68%, which is similar to that of the general population. The reported prevalence of mental health symptoms and disorders among male elite athletes in team sports ranges from 5% for burnout and alcohol abuse, to 45% for anxiety and depression. Among females, mental health disorders (including eating disorders) ranges from 10% to 25%.

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DEFINITION

Mental Health

Mental Health is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as "a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community". It is "not merely the absence of disease or disability". The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adds that "poor mental health and mental illness are not the same thing".

Mental Illness is among the most common health conditions in the world; more than 50% of people will be diagnosed wtih a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime. One out of every five Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year, and 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.

Risk factors for mental health issues include, but are not limited to:

  • Family history

  • Environmental factors

  • Injury

  • Competitive failure

  • Retirement

  • Pain

  • Concussion

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