Athlete Mental Health Alliance - Athletes for Hope

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Athlete Mental Health Alliance

About the Athlete Mental Health Alliance

The Athlete Mental Health Alliance (AMHA) aims to leverage the lived experiences and amplify the voices of athletes demanding a change in the sport system, as it pertains to their mental health. Through research, advocacy, and partnership we aim to facilitate a national plan supporting athlete mental health, developed with athletes, for athletes.

Our vision is to lift the ‘athlete voice’ as it leads the way in mental health solutions for elite athletes. Each of these voices combined will lead the charge in working with lawmakers to establish universal legislation that would create mental health rights for all athletes.

To become a member of AHMA, please use the signup form here.

Alliance Members

Athlete Mental Health As A Human Right

Studies have shown that elite athletes are at the same risk of mental disorders as the general public. This risk is magnified amongst athletes who are injured, retired/retiring, and performing below expectations. To date, there is no systematic process at the elite level for screening, intervention, or support around athlete mental health; and no one entity who is responsible for this system of care. 

A growing coalition of athletes, athlete mental health organizations, nonprofits, and allies propose the creation of a National Athlete Mental Health Bill of Rights, supporting athletes across all levels of play, starting with youth sports development programs through elite athlete organizations and teams.

Our research on athlete mental health resulted in the following draft recommendations:

Athletes have the rights to:

  • Healthy bodies and healthy body images 
  • Support in career transition
  • Adequately manage injury
  • Mental health support for performance on and off the field
  • Timely referrals to mental health experts for psychological disorders and conditions
  • Training, education, and awareness focused on the importance of mental wellness, identifying mental health conditions, and finding mental health resources. 
  • Coaches and trainers who are trauma-informed, and have some level of mental health training. 
  • Equal and equitable access to mental health

We are asking you to sponsor or support bills within your state or federally recognizing legislation that aligns with mental health rights for athletes.

View the policy brief here.

Our Work

Athlete Mental Health Advocacy Day

On the morning of Wednesday, May 31st, 2023, Athletes for Hope (AFH) hosted its first Athlete Mental Health Advocacy Day at the U.S. Capitol.

Read more here.

Pledge To Reach Out

The first step to addressing mental health is by shattering the stigma & creating community. Seemingly small acts of checking in or offering support are more than kind – they can be lifesaving. Join athletes all over the country in pledging to say to others: “You are not alone.”

Add your name to the Pledge here.

Mental Health Resources

From crisis hotlines, to how to support teammates, to tips on how to stay mindful, there are so many resources available to support mental health. The Mental Health Resource Hub will be frequently updated with new content.

Access the Resource Hub here.

Athlete Mental Health Legislation

  • Ohio House Bill 33
    • Tucked into House Bill 33, Ohio’s budget bill, is a provision requiring all coaches to undergo mental health training. The goal is to help them identify students who are struggling, find them the help they may need, and hopefully, prevent them from hurting themselves or anyone else.
  • Maryland House Bill 375
    • Requiring the State Department of Education to develop guidelines for public schools and the Maryland Higher Education Commission to develop guidelines for public institutions of higher education to train coaches to recognize indicators of mental illness and behavioral distress in students who participate in athletic programs in public schools and public institutions of higher education; requiring public schools and public institutions that offer athletic programs to provide certain training to coaches