BTN.com LiveBIG Staff, May 4, 2020
?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,? said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. ?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.?
?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.?
The Cabinet was established in December 2019 by Commissioner Warren to promote optimal mental health for student-athletes and is comprised of 31 individuals representing a wide range of disciplines, including mental health educators, medical doctors, faculty athletic representatives and senior woman administrators. These industry leaders will take a comprehensive, systemic and interdisciplinary approach to establishing mental health programs, while also providing counsel, advice and expertise to the conference office.
?I think the work the Big Ten Conference is doing with regard to mental health initiatives is incredibly important,? Ohio State head football coach Ryan Day said. ?Forming a Mental Health and Wellness Cabinet is a reflection of the conference?s leadership, engagement and support for mental health initiatives. These efforts will help bring much-needed attention and awareness to the subject of mental health.?
Calm is the world?s No. 1 app for mental fitness, with more than 100 hours of original audio content on topics ranging from anxiety to stress, gratitude, sleep and more. Calm has been named Apple?s 2017 App of the Year and a Google Play Editor?s Choice in 2018. Calm?s two most popular content offerings are its Daily Calm (new daily 10-minute meditation) and its Sleep Stories (bedtime stories for grown-ups).
?The Big Ten Conference continues to be a leader and trailblazer in developing initiatives to enhance the student-athlete experience. The formation of the Mental Health and Wellness Cabinet and the accompanying resources demonstrates that,? said Brenda Frese, Maryland women?s basketball head coach. ?Commissioner Warren has stated from the very beginning of his tenure the importance he places on mental health awareness and that focus of helping our student-athletes is at the forefront of his vision. At Maryland, Damon Evans has been in lockstep in supporting our student-athletes and these initiatives. As a head coach, we are talking and interacting with our student-athletes daily and helping them is a top priority, so I am pleased the Big Ten has placed such an importance on mental health.?
?We need to start with the new Commissioner having the vision and the wherewithal to request that we try to do something that?s never been done - looking at taking care of the student-athlete and seeing them as a whole person. That is a major shift. I have never heard anything like it,? said Michigan Executive Associate Athletic Director and Cabinet member Greg Harden. ?I have never heard a commissioner talk about it more than Kevin Warren has. This changes the game - having that type of leadership at that type of level. This was all pre-COVID-19. We started collaborating and examining best practices, examining how to work together, how to make sure there was integrity in the exchanges, how to build trust and go beyond the competitive rituals of being in sports. To be able to hear the best from our colleagues in our conference - it was a common commitment to an agenda that went beyond who is going to win the next game. We are in the business of developing people, intervening, solving issues, and pushing forth success.?
The membership of the Big Ten Mental Health and Wellness Cabinet can be found below:
|Illinois||Randy Ballard||Assoc. AD, Sports Medicine/Director of Integrated Performance|
|Dr. Tiffany White||Assoc. Professor of Business Admin./Bruce and Anne Strohm Faculty Fellow|
|Indiana||Dr. Troy Moles||Director of Counseling and Sport Psychology|
|Mattie White||SWA/Sr. Assoc. AD for Academic Services and Excellence Academy|
|Iowa||Dr. Aubrette Kinne||Embedded Staff Psychologist – Department of Athletics|
|Dr. Lisa Woodroffe||Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics|
|Johns Hopkins||Erin Long||Director of Sport Performance & Wellness|
|Elizabeth Winberry||Director of Student Outreach and Support|
|Maryland||Dr. Michelle Garvin||Director of Clinical and Sports Psychology|
|Dr. Sue Sherburne||SWA/Sr. Assoc. AD, Academics & Student Development|
|Michigan||Abigail Eiler||Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work|
|Greg Harden||Executive Assoc. AD|
|Michigan State||Dr. Anthony Avellino||Asst. Provost, Student Wellness, Health and Safety/HealthTeam Chief Medical Officer|
|Alan Haller||Deputy Athletic Director|
|Minnesota||Dr. Carly Anderson||Director of Sport Psychology Services|
|Joi Thomas||Sr. Assoc. AD, Health & Performance|
|Nebraska||Dr. Brett Haskell||Director of Sport Psychology|
|Dr. Brett Woods||Assistant Director of Sport Psychology|
|Northwestern||Dr. Courtney Albinson||Assoc. Director, Sport Psychology|
|Dr. Jeff Mjaanes||Director of Sports Medicine/Head Team Physician|
|Notre Dame||Dr. Joey Ramaeker||Counseling & Sport Psychologist|
|Dr. Niki Sims||Asst. Director for Clinical Sport Psychology & Sport Psychologist|
|Ohio State||Dr. Chelsi Day||Sport Psychologist|
|Dr. James Houle||Lead Sport Psychologist|
|Penn State||Dr. Natalie Hernandez DePalma||Asst. Director, Clinical Services|
|Dr. Carl Ohlson||Asst. AD, Performance Psychology|
|Purdue||Dr. Kelsey Dawson||Sports Psychologist|
|Dr. Brad Foltz||Sports Psychologist|
|Rutgers||Dr. Joshua Bershad||Chief Medical Officer|
|Dr. Peter Economou||Assoc. Professor, Program Director, Applied Psychology|
|Wisconsin||Dr. Cassie Pasquariello||Director of Clinical and Sports Psychology|