May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. The sports world has been starting to recognize the importance of attending to mental health for well-being and performance. Sport psychology, a multi-disciplinary field (psychology/mental health AND sport science), requires multi-disciplinary training for practitioners to become adept at fulfilling different kinds of needs in dynamic sports environments. Most states’ laws usually reserve use of the word “psychology” for licensed psychologists, but practitioners often use other titles such as psychotherapist, counselor, mental performance consultant, and so on. Develop a referring relationship with a qualified practitioner trained in mental health AND sport/performance psychology, to reduce stigma, to facilitate athletes getting help, and to even facilitate better performance! Look for practitioners whom are both licensed by their state (e.g., psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, marriage and family therapist, or social worker) and certified (Certified Mental Performance Consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology).
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