Athletes Connected helps improve the well-being of student athletes at the University of Michigan and beyond.

Many student athletes experience mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, but they are often reluctant to seek help for a variety of reasons. To address this issue, the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, Eisenberg Family Depression Center, and Athletic Department developed the Athletes Connected initiative with initial funding from an NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice grant.

Through a comprehensive approach involving student engagement, targeted interventions, and scientific research, Athletes Connected equips student athletes with the evidence-based skills and support they need to increase their emotional health and be successful in athletics, academics, and all other aspects of their lives. 

Program Components:

  • Brief, engaging videos and other media that feature former and current student athletes, coaches, and athletic department staff to help reduce stigma and encourage help-seeking.
  • Informational and skill-based presentations for student athletes, coaches, athletic department staff.
  • Informal, drop-in support groups to address the unique concerns of student athletes.
  • Research to evaluate the effectiveness of our efforts and advance our understanding of how best to support and improve the mental health of student athletes.
63% of the student athletes reported that emotional or mental health issues had affected their athletic performance in the last 4 weeks.
NCAA-funded Pilot Program Findings