It’s Okay To Ask For Help!
If you are an athlete in need of mental health support, please contact Dr. Alley Dake, using the contact information below. If this is an emergency, please dial 911 immediately.
Girls with Game Mental Health and
To truly be on top of your game, you must train be healthy and train all aspects – Physically, Mentally & Emotionally. The Girls with Game Program is a mental health and wellness counseling program available for female-athletes who display behavioral signs or express interest in general counseling support.
This program will allow female-athletes involved in any sport the opportunity to receive mental health coaching and/or professional counseling from a licensed psychologist at no cost to them.
It’s time to remove the stigma!
In January of 2017, just before the beginning of her sophomore season, Morgan Rogers (Duke University Lacrosse Player) endured a dream-shattering knee injury. She spent the next 12 months determined to return to the field, undergoing surgery and dedicating herself to an intensive rehabilitation program. Morgan struggled with this abrupt change because she felt she had lost control within her life. As a result, Morgan’s self-worth plummeted. While she presented a strong, happy, and resilient face to her community, she grappled with feeling that she was not living up to her expectations. Her feelings of isolation from the team and stress caused by other relationship issues accelerated the return of anxiety and depression. This time, Morgan chose to suffer in silence, keeping family and friends in the dark as she battled her mental health.
As a result, Morgan died by suicide in July of 2019 at the age of 22.
Nadia Brianne Matthews had a glowing future.
The sophomore (high school) star softball pitcher at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana had verbally committed to play for the University of Arizona, and had a sense of confidence, grace and warmth that went beyond her 16 years, friends say.
Her suicide Thursday at her Anaheim home has shocked and devastated relatives, friends and teachers and coaches who saw in her amazing talent and promise – a nice girl who could put a smile on anyone’s face.
To make mental health counseling resources available to female-athletes in a safe, familiar and fun environment. Whether it’s a one-time conversation on a rough day, or a more in-depth need, CSAF will cover the cost for the female-athletes to ensure they have the support and resources needed.
Whether female-athletes are struggling with the pressures associated with juggling school, athletics, and social life; or they are struggling with body image or eating disorders; or they are a victim of bullying and harassment; or there are issues going on at home making their daily burden heavy; they are suffering from depression and anxiety; they are a victim of abuse, they suffered an injury etc…. we are here to help them manage these issues, have a trusted professional resource to talk to in a safe and familiar setting, and give them to tools they need to be mentally healthy.
Partner with us to provide a solution!
Our goal is $60,000 annually – You can make a onetime gift or set up a monthly reoccurring donation. All contributions are tax deductible.
how it Works…
CSAF partner and licensed Psychologist, Stephanie Anziano will be onsite at the Colorado Softball Academy on a weekly basis to engage with student-athletes, get to know them and serve as a mental health resource when needed. If an athlete expresses interest in mental health support, or a coach identifies a need based upon conversations or behavioral patterns, Mrs. Anziano is easily accessible in a ‘non-clinical’ and safe setting.
In tandem with the Colorado Softball Academy (CSA) Coaching Staff and CSA Director of Mental Performance, Dr. Alley Dake, our team will ensure the mental health, wellness and performance resources are in place for our athletes to be healthy and happy on all levels.
Monetary contributions to the Colorado Softball Academy Foundation, go to directly funding this program and the psychological support these athletes need, in order to remove the barriers of access and financial resources.
The Ugly Truth
US emergency room visits for suicide attempts by adolescent girls surged 51% in early 2021 compared to the same period in 2019.
U.S. Surgeon General Issues Advisory on Youth Mental Health Crisis Further Exposed by COVID-19 Pandemic The Surgeon General’s advisory calls for a swift and coordinated response to this crisis as the nation continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides recommendations that individuals, families, community organizations, technology companies, governments, and others can take to improve the mental health of children, adolescents and young adults.
On March 1, 2022, Stanford University soccer player, Katie Meyer committed suicide in her dorm room. She was a senior, the starting goalkeeper, team captain and had won a National Championship. There were no signs to show she was struggling mentally. Katie Meyer, Stanford soccer player, died of suicide, parents tell NBC – CNN
In the fall of 2019, a 12 year old girl in Ohio hung herself from her room because two boys walked up to her on the playground and said, “you’re fat, you’re ugly, and you should kill yourself. She did.
In September of 2020, a 13 year old girl in WA took her own life. :London had shown no signs of depression or suicidal thoughts in the weeks leading up to her death, Wendling said, but like so many teens during the coronavirus pandemic, her life had radically changed in the previous six months. She had shifted to online learning when her school district shut down in-person classes, and her social life had faded even more when her volleyball club canceled the season because of the pandemic.” Suicides among teen athletes raise mental health concerns – The Washington Post
Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among high-school-aged students – some researchers fear the mental health consequences associated with the Pandemic will elevate those numbers.
“Mental health challenges in children, adolescents, and young adults are real and widespread. Even before the pandemic, an alarming number of young people struggled with feelings of helplessness, depression, and thoughts of suicide — and rates have increased over the past decade.” said Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.
“The COVID-19 pandemic further altered their experiences at home, school, and in the community, and the effect on their mental health has been devastating. The future wellbeing of our country depends on how we support and invest in the next generation. Especially in this moment, as we work to protect the health of Americans in the face of a new variant, we also need to focus on how we can emerge stronger on the other side. This advisory shows us how we can all work together to step up for our children during this dual crisis.” U.S. Surgeon General Issues Advisory on Youth Mental Health Crisis Further Exposed by COVID-19 Pandemic | HHS.gov
Dissatisfaction with body image is an underlying issue: Satisfaction with body image for girls declines with age. 1 in 4 are unhappy with their body image at ages 11-14 and this figure increases to 1 in 3 girls by the time they reach 14-16. (Women In Sports, Girls Active Survey)
Sarah took her own life,” the family said. “Balancing athletics, academics and the demands of everyday life overwhelmed her in a single, desperate moment. Like you, we are shocked and grief stricken while holding on tightly to all that Sarah was.
Sarah Shulze was a junior at the University of Wisconsin and competed in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. Huffpost.com, April 15, 2022
Issues with confidence and self-consciousness is more prevalent for girls that for boys. In a Women In Sports Girls Active Study, researchers asked girls what holds them back from participating in sports; 28% responded, “I am not confident,” while 27% responded “when I have my period.” When comparing the responses of boys versus girls, the results are staggering. Of the respondents, 13% of boys noted ‘I am not confident”, while 28% of girls responded with “I am not confident”.
Still, the unprecedented times have caused stress and anxiety.
Over a third of respondents reported experiencing sleep difficulties, while more than a quarter reported feeling sadness and a sense of loss, and 1 in 10 reported feeling so depressed it has been difficult to function “constantly” or “most every day.”
Mental health concerns were highest among respondents of color, those whose families are facing economic hardship and those living alone. Additionally, college seniors reported a sense of loss at 1.5 times the rate of underclassmen. In most instances, the rates of mental health concerns were 150% to 250% higher than that historically reported by NCAA student-athletes in the American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment. NCAA Mental Health Study
On college campuses in the United States, around 30% of women and 25% of men who are student-athletes report having anxiety, according to data shared by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
Among athletes with known mental health conditions, only 10% seek care from a mental health professional, according to the ACSM. ABC News, College Athlete Speaks Out