GITNUX MARKETDATA REPORT 2024

Athlete Mental Health Statistics [Fresh Research]

Highlights: The Most Important Athlete Mental Health Statistics

  • 30% of female student athletes and 25% of male student athletes report having anxiety, which is significantly higher than the 1 in 5 adults who experience a mental health condition during their life.
  • 34% of elite professional swimmers reported lasting depression episodes, which shows that even athletes at the highest level of competition can suffer from depression.
  • 30% of female student athletes and 25% of male student athletes report having anxiety, which is significantly higher than the 1 in 5 adults who experience a mental health condition during their life.
  • Student-athletes continue to report elevated levels of mental health concerns, with rates of mental exhaustion, anxiety, and depression remaining 1.5 to two times higher than pre-pandemic levels.
  • Women’s sports athletes reported higher mental health concerns than men’s sports athletes.
  • 5 female athletes died from suicide in 2021, highlighting the mental health epidemic among female athletes.
  • 50% of male and female athletes reported a sense of hopelessness during the COVID-19 lockdown, with black athletes, those facing economic hardship, and those living alone being the most affected.
  • 70% of Black athletes with mental illness are not seeking treatment, which highlights the stigma that exists in the Black community towards mental illness and mental treatment.
  • 34% of elite professional swimmers reported lasting depression episodes, which shows that even athletes at the highest level of competition can suffer from depression.
  • 35% of elite athletes suffer from disordered eating, burnout, depression or anxiety, while only 10% of all college athletes with known mental health conditions seek care from a mental health professional.
  • Approximately 35% of elite athletes suffer from disordered eating, burnout, depression and/or anxiety.
  • A study of elite Canadian swimmers found that 68% of the surveyed athletes met criteria for a major depressive episode, with 34% meeting diagnostic criteria and 26% self-reporting mild to moderate symptoms of depression post competition.
  • Furthermore, the statistic is indicative of a larger mental health crisis among young athletes, and highlights the need for more resources and support to help them cope with the physical and emotional pressures of competitive sports.

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Mental health is an important topic for athletes, both on and off the field. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked or ignored. Recent studies have shown that athletes are more likely to suffer from mental health issues than the general population.

This blog post will explore the statistics surrounding athlete mental health, and discuss the importance of recognizing and addressing these issues. We will also look at the steps that can be taken to help athletes maintain their mental health and well-being.

Athlete Mental Health: The Most Important Statistics

30% of female student athletes and 25% of male student athletes report having anxiety, which is significantly higher than the 1 in 5 adults who experience a mental health condition during their life.
Women’s sports athletes reported higher mental health concerns than men’s sports athletes.
34% of elite professional swimmers reported lasting depression episodes, which shows that even athletes at the highest level of competition can suffer from depression.

Athlete Mental Health Statistics Overview

30% of female student athletes and 25% of male student athletes report having anxiety, which is significantly higher than the 1 in 5 adults who experience a mental health condition during their life.

This shows that student athletes are more likely to experience mental health conditions than the general population, which emphasizes the importance of providing mental health resources and support for student athletes.

Student-athletes continue to report elevated levels of mental health concerns, with rates of mental exhaustion, anxiety, and depression remaining 1.5 to two times higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Therefore, the mental health of student-athletes has been adversely affected by the pandemic and that more needs to be done to address their mental health needs. This is especially important given the physical and mental demands of being a student-athlete.

Mental Health of Female Athletes

Women’s sports athletes reported higher mental health concerns than men’s sports athletes.

It highlights the need to provide more mental health resources and support to women’s sports athletes, who are more likely to experience mental health issues than their male counterparts. This can help ensure that all athletes have access to the resources they need to maintain their mental health and wellbeing.

5 female athletes died from suicide in 2021, highlighting the mental health epidemic among female athletes.

This is concerning as it shows that more female athletes than ever are struggling with their mental health, and action needs to be taken to ensure their safety.

Mental Health of Different Athlete Groups

50% of male and female athletes reported a sense of hopelessness during the COVID-19 lockdown, with black athletes, those facing economic hardship, and those living alone being the most affected.

On this, we can see the disparities in mental health issues among different groups of athletes. It also shows that the COVID-19 lockdown has had a significant impact on the mental health of athletes, and that more needs to be done to address the issue.

70% of Black athletes with mental illness are not seeking treatment, which highlights the stigma that exists in the Black community towards mental illness and mental treatment.

This can lead to athletes not seeking help when they need it. This can have serious implications for their mental health and well-being.

34% of elite professional swimmers reported lasting depression episodes, which shows that even athletes at the highest level of competition can suffer from depression.

It also indicates that the most elite swimmers may be more prone to depression than their competitors, which could be due to the intense pressure to perform at a high level.

Most Common Mental Health Issues in Athletes

35% of elite athletes suffer from disordered eating, burnout, depression or anxiety, while only 10% of all college athletes with known mental health conditions seek care from a mental health professional.

Those numbers highlight the need for more awareness and resources to be available to athletes of all levels in order to address mental health issues. They also show that there is a large gap between the number of athletes who are suffering from mental health issues and those who are seeking help. This gap needs to be addressed in order to ensure that athletes are receiving the care they require.

Approximately 35% of elite athletes suffer from disordered eating, burnout, depression and/or anxiety.

This displays the need for further research into the mental health of athletes, particularly children and adolescents, to better understand and address the issue.

A study of elite Canadian swimmers found that 68% of the surveyed athletes met criteria for a major depressive episode, with 34% meeting diagnostic criteria and 26% self-reporting mild to moderate symptoms of depression post competition.

This is especially concerning for female athletes, as the NCAA Division study found that depression prevalence doubled among the top 25% of athletes.

Furthermore, the statistic is indicative of a larger mental health crisis among young athletes, and highlights the need for more resources and support to help them cope with the physical and emotional pressures of competitive sports.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is clear that athlete mental health is an important issue that needs to be addressed. The statistics provided in this blog post demonstrate that there is a need for increased awareness and resources to help athletes cope with mental health issues.

With the right support and resources, athletes can be better equipped to manage their mental health and perform at their best.

References

1 – https://www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2022/09/a-quiet-crisis-in-college-sports#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20American%20College,of%20men%20report%20having%20anxiety.

2 – https://www.ncaa.org/news/2022/5/24/media-center-mental-health-issues-remain-on-minds-of-student-athletes.aspx

3 – https://justwomenssports.com/reads/ncaa-female-athletes-mental-health-concerns/#:~:text=38%20percent%20of%20women%20reported,Katie%2C%20Sarah%2C%20Lauren%2C%20Jayden

4 – https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a41696886/female-college-athletes-mental-health-crisis/

5 – https://marychristieinstitute.org/mary-christie-quarterly/another-added-layer-the-mental-health-of-black-student-athletes-in-2020/

6 – https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2021/08/04/how-the-burden-on-black-athletes-reflects-the-experience-of-black-america

7 – https://achieveconcierge.com/blog/the-link-between-athletes-and-depression/#:~:text=Numerous%20studies%20have%20found%20similar,athletes%20could%20be%20considered%20depressed.

8 – https://www.acsm.org/news-detail/2021/08/09/the-american-college-of-sports-medicine-statement-on-mental-health-challenges-for-athletes#:~:text=Professional%20and%20elite%20athletes%20also,%2C%20depression%20and%2For%20anxiety.

9 – https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/taking-a-look-at-child-athlete-mental-health

10 – https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/on-thin-ice-competitive-sports-youth-mental-health

FAQs

What is athlete mental health?

Athlete mental health is the mental and emotional wellbeing of athletes, and the ability to cope with the demands of their sport.

What are the most common mental health issues among athletes?

The most common mental health issues among athletes include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, and burnout.

What strategies can be used to prevent and manage athlete mental health issues?

Strategies that can be used to prevent and manage athlete mental health issues include developing a healthy lifestyle, engaging in regular physical activity, having a balanced diet, practicing good sleep hygiene, and seeking professional help.

What are the signs and symptoms of mental health issues in athletes?

Signs and symptoms of mental health issues in athletes include changes in mood, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, lack of motivation, and decreased performance.

What resources are available to support athletes with mental health issues?

Resources available to support athletes with mental health issues include mental health professionals, online support groups, and mental health apps.

How we write our statistic reports:

We have not conducted any studies ourselves. Our article provides a summary of all the statistics and studies available at the time of writing. We are solely presenting a summary, not expressing our own opinion. We have collected all statistics within our internal database. In some cases, we use Artificial Intelligence for formulating the statistics. The articles are updated regularly.

See our Editorial Process.

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