East Lansing, MI—May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and while the subject for far too long has been taboo, Big Ten Conference commissioner Kevin Warren is changing that. He has announced the formation of the first-ever Big Ten Mental Health and Wellness Cabinet.
Made up of one representative from all-Big Ten affiliated institutions, Warren seeks to help all student-athletes maintain optimal mental health.
Along with the announcement of the new initiative, Warren also made known "Big Ten student-athletes, coaches, full-time members of university athletic departments and conference staff members will receive free, unlimited access to Calm, the No. 1 mental fitness app for helping individuals experience lower stress, less anxiety, improved focus, and more restful sleep."
Warren said of providing the app for student-athletes and the emphasis on mental health, "Our hope is that the Calm mental fitness app will provide an immediate resource for all Big Ten student-athletes, coaches, athletic department staff members, and conference staff during these unprecedented times and is only the first of many steps that we will take in the area of mental health and wellness. We are fortunate to have so many professionals on our campuses who have dedicated their lives to tackling mental health issues. We were driven to supplement their inspiring work with additional resources, important under normal circumstances, but even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic."
Warren elaborated on the Cabinet, "When I was hired as the Commissioner of the Big Ten Conference, a core pillar of my vision was to make sure that we educate, embrace, engage and empower our more than 9,500 student-athletes. This is a complex and stressful time in our society and the mental health and wellness of our Big Ten family is a critical component of our focus. The Cabinet will be instrumental for us both short and long term, as we pursue our goal of creating and maintaining the most comprehensive mental health and wellness platform in college athletics."
Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde praised Warren after they recently spoke about this. Forde said, "Kevin Warren is getting a lot of early rave reviews for his work, specifically in this mental health area and the Big Ten conference. And we'll see what direction he's going to take the league going forward into a pretty uncertain 2020-2021 academic and athletic school year."
Tell us some of your thoughts on Kevin Warren's new initiative in the comment section below.
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