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Athletes Mental Health Foundation Celebrates International Women’s Day with Launch of  SPORTS SHRINKS

Athletes Mental Health Foundation Celebrates International Women’s Day with Launch of SPORTS SHRINKS

Press Release · Bend, OR, USA ·

The Athletes Mental Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping athletes understand and address their internal well-being, has announced the launch of SPORTS SHRINKS, a biweekly podcast hosted by foundation co-creators and licensed therapists Katie Steele and Dr. Tiffany Brown. Premiering Thursday, March 7 – the day before International Women’s Day - this 45-minute conversational show will be an entertaining, informative destination of all issues and topics surrounding mental health for athletes, parents, coaches, and anyone who loves athletics.

The March 7th debut episode of SPORTS SHRINKS ties in perfectly with International Women’s Day, which celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, and also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. The episode, titled “More Than an Athlete," focuses on how often we overlook the many facets of girls and women as they develop into competitive athletes. The hosts also discuss a recent news story about women in sport, field a parent question about how to best support his daughter, and wrestle with the complexity of finding grit and tenacity as a female athlete when the world routinely expects women to stay small.

Upcoming episodes of SPORTS SHRINKS will spotlight issues of abusive coaching, anxiety before and after practice, eating disorders, depression, poor performance, being more than an athlete, the parent’s role, and much more.

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Listen to SPORTS SHRINKS on the Athletes Mental Health Foundation website or follow the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever podcasts are available.

“SPORTS SHRINKS will be a lively place to chat about and educate listeners about mental health concerns for athletes – whether it’s about lack of confidence, inequality, gender identity or sexism on the field or depression or anxiety off the field, we plan to cover these topics and much more,” says Katie Steele, executive director of Athletes Mental Health Foundation. “We will not be timid in addressing any topical news stories or controversies.”

“We’ve learned through our studies and experiences that many athletes struggling with mental health issues do not seek treatment,” says Dr. Tiffany Brown, chief science officer of Athletes Mental Health Foundation. “SPORTS SHRINKS will be a one-stop destination to confront the stigmas so athletes can learn it’s OK to need support and what resources can help. That way, they can retain the passion and love for their sport and even perform better through improved and increased mental wellness.”

To further commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8, Dr. Brown and Steele will host an Instagram Live chat at 2pm Eastern that day featuring an interview with D1 Track and Field Athlete, Shaylah (Simpson) Bryant, who is training as a Couples and Family Therapist and a Psychologist. Bryant will discuss her experiences as a female athlete and what she sees as the needs for women across sport. The chat will take place on the Athletes Mental Health Foundation’s Instagram.

Consisting of a community of licensed mental health clinicians, athletes, coaches and parents, Athletes Mental Health Foundationis a non-profit organization dedicated to changing athletic systems to better support athlete mental health and to ensure that athletes are equipped with mental health resources. Members have access to the most up-to-date research, data, and articles about athlete mental health, and on topics including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, puberty, substance use, suicide, self-harm, and more. Members can also interact with licensed mental health experts, read interviews with athletic and mental health professionals, can participate in ongoing research projects, and take part in virtual events as well as daily interactive discussions on the member’s forum. A major priority for the Athletes Mental Health Foundation is to help normalize mental health needs beyond just the more serious symptomology and/or diagnoses. For more information, to become a member at no cost, or to make a financial donation that will enable the Foundation to reach more athletes, please visit the Athletes Mental Health Foundation website.

In addition to their new hosting duties for SPORTS SHRINKS, Steele and Brown have co-written a book, The Price She Pays: Confronting the Hidden Mental Health Crisis in Women’s Sports - from the Schoolyard to the Stadium, where they will reveal the deep layers of trauma and mistreatment women experience in their pursuit of excellence in sport. Through first-hand accounts, research, and reporting, they show parents, coaches, and athletes how to recognize the signs of mistreatment and mental health issues, and reveal how, by focusing on the wellbeing of the whole person - not just the athlete - women and girls can be provided with the support they need to thrive, in whatever sport they choose, at whatever level they compete. The book is out on Little, Brown Spark on Tuesday, June 18.

About Katie Steele, LMFT, Executive Director (based in Bend, OR) Katie Steele became passionate about mental health and athletics after a negative experience as a D1 athlete. She earned her graduate degree in Couples and Family Therapy at the University of Oregon. Katie is a licensed marriage & family therapist and co-founder of Thrive Mental Health, an outpatient mental health clinic in Bend, Oregon. Katie is a mom to three children with her husband, Adam Steele (2003 NCAA Champion in the 400-meter dash), who also serves as Chief Operating Officer of Athletes Mental Health Foundation.

About Dr. Tiffany Brown, Chief Science Officer (based in Eugene, OR) Dr. Tiffany Brown is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and Senior Lecturer II and Clinical Director in the Couples and Family Therapy graduate program at the University of Oregon. She received her doctoral degree at Texas Tech University. She has also served as an athlete mentor in Student-Athlete Development at the University of Oregon; this program matches current student-athletes with a mentor for career guidance, mentorship, and support. A therapist for two decades, Dr. Brown is fiercely committed to supporting athletes by turning toward their own mental health wellness during and after sport.


Sports Shrinks
Tiffany Brown, Ph.D., LMFT and Katie Steele, LMFT

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