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On Sunday, January 28, the American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF) is hosting Where We Play: Nashville, a free event focused on supporting the mental health of young athletes and entertainers, at Belmont University’s Fisher Center.
More than one out of every three elite athletes report mental health challenges, and performers are twice as likely to experience depression as the general population. Where We Play: Nashville will host student athletes and performers from Belmont University, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University, Fisk University, as well as surrounding high schools, to discuss those very issues.
The event features world champion swimmers and mental health advocates Michael Phelps* and Allison Schmitt, former NFL player Eric Decker, Grammy-nominated artists Britt Nicole and Blessing Offor, recording artist Drew Baldridge, and two-time MLB World Series Champion and APAF Board member Ben Zobrist, in addition to other professional athletes and world-famous artists.
Each of these artists and athletes has experienced the mental health challenges of being young high-caliber performers and athletes first-hand, and they’ll share their understanding. The event also seeks to connect students to mental health support, engage them emotionally, and help them learn skills to manage their well-being over time.
“Many of us know that young people in this country are struggling with their mental health generally, but a less prevalent concern is that when the added pressures of performance are introduced outcomes may worsen,” said Rawle Andrews, Jr., Esq., Executive Director of the APA Foundation. “Where We Play seeks to equip our young adults with the important skills and tools they need to continue excelling on the field or the stage while also maintaining their mental and emotional wellness. The APA Foundation is committed to creating a mentally healthy nation where we live, learn, work, worship, and play.”
Where We Play: Nashville will help determine the resources that young performers need to fortify and sustain mental health and wellbeing, with the goal of sharing those resources on a national scale. The APAF’s Where We Play program is the first step in creating a culture that values mental wellness for professional, collegiate, and emerging athletes and artists.
To learn more and register for Where We Play: Nashville, visit the website.
*Will appear by video