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How can I help a teammate?
The most effective way you can help is by offering support to teammates who may be struggling with mental health concerns. Here are some do’s and don’ts on how to offer support and get them professional help if necessary.
- Listen and validate their experience – Try to see it from their perspective. Even if it is something you don’t think would be a big deal for you; it’s still affecting them.
- Encourage them to talk with a counselor if they are open to the idea.
- Offer to go with them to talk with the athletic trainer about their struggles.
- Tell them “it’s no big deal”, say “at least it’s not…”, or minimize their struggle.
- Tell them they are being dramatic or too emotional.
- Spread gossip about information they share with you in confidence. This excludes letting professionals know about others you are concerned about.
Will counseling really help?
Counseling has been found to help improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, eating concerns, and alcohol/substance use in 52-63% of adults. We recognize that this is not 100% helpful for everyone, but several factors influence the effectiveness of counseling, both in and out of someone’s control. To make the most effective use of counseling, see “How can I get the most out of my counseling” FAQ for suggestions.
Do I have to have serious mental health concerns to use counseling?
No. Seeking counseling through as a BYU student-athlete is not reserved for only those who are struggling with serious mental health concerns. Life can get difficult for all of us and we are here to help support you through any type of struggle, concern, or season of personal growth. Here are some common topics that are addressed in counseling that are not always associated with serious mental health concerns:
- Relationship problems or improvement
- Identifying Strengths
- Life Balance
- Academic Concerns (We will encourage you to work with your academic advisors and support as well)
- Sleep concerns
What about medications?
Medication must be prescribed by a physician, either a general practitioner, psychiatric nurse practitioner or psychiatrist. If you would like to consider medication you should seek an appointment with the above listed providers. It is recommended that medication for mental health issues be used in conjunction with counseling.
Some medications are prohibited by the NCAA such as medication for ADHD. If you are prescribed a medication prohibited by the NCAA please consult with your athletic trainer or your team psychologist about paperwork required by NCAA.
How can I get the most out of my counseling?
Here are some ways to make sure counseling can be as effective as possible:
- Invest in the process
- Be patient with the process
- Be as open and honest with your counselor as you can
- Make decisions about frequency and discontinuation of counseling with your counselor
How do I know when I am done with counseling?
Please discuss this with your counselor. Many times your counselor will be looking for improvements and recommend termination, however, you are encouraged to discuss your interested in finishing counseling at any time. If you have noticed significant improvements in your initial concerns it’s a good time to discuss ending therapy.
I’m struggling with school, can counseling help?
Sure! Academic difficulties can be related to your emotional well-being, either impacted by emotions or by causing emotions. Discussing your concerns with a counselor will allow you and the counselor to consider what might help you manage emotions/stress, change routines, address attention concerns, etc. that may be contributing to academic difficulties.
What if I need help outside of business hours?
If you are experiencing a crisis after hours please contact the Counseling and Psychological Services after hours counselor. The counselor can be reached at (801)422-2222. This phone number will connect you with BYU University Police who will contact the counselor for you and connect the call. If you need assistance after hours for a non-crisis situation send a text to your team psychologist. The psychologist will respond to you during working hours.
Will I be reported to the Honor Code if I disclose something in counseling?
No. Counseling is confidential and none of the information disclosed in this setting will be shared with the Honor Code, coaches, trainers, professors, parents, or anyone else without your permission.
What if I don’t like my counselor?
Finding the right fit for a counselor can be an important part of your progress in counseling. We encourage you to talk to your counselor about what is not working for you first to see if changes can be made to improve the service you are receiving. If improvements can still not be made, you can request to meet with someone else based on your needs and we would be happy to try and accommodate you. In some cases, it may not be possible to change counselors within the BYU system, but we can always provide resources and referrals off campus as well.