Expert says youth athletes’ mental health needs to be prioritized

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – As a kid, stress should not be on your mind.

Playing a sport should be a place where you make friends and have fun.

But with the pressure of being a competitive athlete, it can be physically and mentally exhausting.

Health officials say between intense physical training and pressure to be the best, it can cause burn out and anxiety attacks.

Around 25% of kids experience a mental health disorder in a given year.

And the number of resources available to help young athletes is few and far between.

Emily Williamson, legal advocate for Tri County Help Center in Belmont County says many youth athletes need support with their mental health.

I would suggest to just reach out and just talk through it with someone that’s not biased. Parents have a bias, coaches have a bias. You need to see what things need to be prioritized. Does basketball need to be prioritized right now or does the mental health need to be?

Emily Williamson, Legal Advocate, Tri-County Help Center

Coaches and parents should keep an eye out for signs of mental strain. She says make it a daily topic of discussion to ensure your athlete is doing okay.

The Tri-County Help Center has resources geared towards helping the mental health of kids.

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