YSU Implements Mental Health Resources As Part Of Horizon League Grant

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In continued support of our student-athletes mental health and performance goals, the Youngstown State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is proud to announce initiatives to enrich the wellness of their experiences at YSU.

Each initiative that will be implemented for Penguin student-athletes has been made possible through a recent grant awarded to YSU from the Horizon League, which the conference announced today.

Youngstown State Associate Athletics Director and Director of Athletic Training Services Jen Tymkew serves as the Chairperson of the HL’s Student-Athlete Safety and Health Subcainet. Tymkew said every campus has unique needs and challenges and this grant makes it possible to address those.

“Youngstown State University Athletics Department strives to enhance our mental health resources and support through a multi-faceted approach,” Tymkew said. “These will provide our student-athletes a safe, comfortable environment to enhance their self-care and to provide our coaches and staff with the skill set to communicate and appropriately manage mental health support amongst their teams.”

Beginning this semester, all student-athletes will have access to open twice-weekly yoga sessions. Yoga has been shown to provide many benefits to both your mind (stress management, mental health, mindfulness and quality of sleep) and your body (improves recovery, strength, balance and flexibility).

In addition, the department will be investing in training sessions, open to all student-athletes, coaches, and staff designed to empower individuals with the knowledge and confidence to respond appropriately to mental health illness or a crisis event.

Finally, in conjunction with YSU Student Counseling Services and the Dean of Students, the department will be advancing its year-round active and passive mental health education program. Education goals will include mental health stigma reduction, coping with stress and anxiety, encouraging referrals and mental skills training to improve athletic performance.

“The Horizon League has been at the forefront of college athletics in acknowledging and addressing the mental health concerns of our student-athletes,” Ron Strollo, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics said.

The Horizon League has created the Student-Athlete Safety and Health committee (SASH) to continue the focus on mental health initiatives and other safety and health concerns of our student-athletes. As a part of this commitment, the Horizon League is committed to assisting our membership with resources in this key area.

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