NYSPHSAA Announces Mental Health Awareness Week

Date Posted: 04/03/2019
Author: Chris Watson, Director of Communications

NYSPHSAA Announces Mental Health Awareness Week

Will Take Place Monday April 29-Friday May 3, 2019

LATHAM, NYLATHAM, NY – The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announces its first ever Mental Health Awareness Week will take place Monday, April 29 through Friday, May 3, 2019. Mental Health Awareness Week was created by the NYSPHSAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). 

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) established a Mental Health Awareness Week after discussing numerous issues surrounding the topic they face with peers. According to the Mental Health Association of New York State, one in five children between the ages of 13-18 have, or will have, a serious mental health condition. Also, most early signs of mental illness are mistaken for normal adolescent development.

Mental Health Awareness Week is designed to encourage schools to provide training to non-healthcare professionals such as coaches and athletic directors as well as fellow students to help them identify signs and symptoms of mental illness and provide resources to those who need them. SAAC members are planning to attend Section Athletic Council meetings around the state as well as Athletic Director meetings to present material on the mental health crisis to promote NYSPHSAA Mental Health Awareness week. The Association’s initiative will utilize the NFHS Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Course to supplement its campaign.

“We are extremely proud of the members of the NYSPHSAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for designing a Mental Health Awareness Week,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “These student-athletes have identified this as a problem in their schools and have come up with a way to help their friends and classmates. We are well aware of the issues with mental health in our society today and applaud the SAAC for trying to help with this major dilemma.”

A social media campaign will be designed for Mental Health Awareness Week with different themes utilized each day. Some of the topics include how to deal with stress, recognizing signs and symptoms, and how to break the stigma associated with mental health. Schools can easily participate by following the NYSPHSAA on social media and utilizing a tool kit produced by the Association. 

About NYSPHSAA (Twitter: @NYSPHSAA | Facebook: NYSPHSAA | YouTube: NYSPHSAASports):
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association Inc. is a non-profit, voluntary, educational service organization composed of public, parochial, and private schools dedicated to providing equitable and safe competition for the students of its member schools. The organization conducts 32 championship events and governs the rules and regulations of high school athletics in New York State. Membership is open to secondary schools providing interschool athletic activities for boys and girls in grades 7-12.