The US Center for Mental Health & Sport (USC-MHS) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in pursuit of a mission to provide a sports environment for all participants that allows their mental wellness to thrive. We believe in participation in sport and the numerous benefits gained from participation. But we also believe that one area where sport organizations can do better for everyone involved is in supporting mental health. Our official mission statement reflects our aim to help sport organizations do just that.
The US Center for Mental Health & Sport develops sport environments that allow for optimum mental wellness by providing mental health training and resources, opening pathways to access additional mental health support services, and committing to the advancement of mental health and sport research.
Our organization was initiated in recognition of a mental health crisis impacting our entire nation and touching the lives of individuals in all age groups. As annual data collected by Mental Health America indicates, youth and adult mental health has worsened and this decline has accelerated due to COVID-19; rates of suicide, suicidal ideation, and thoughts of self-harm are increasing; there is greater unmet need for treatment and significant percentages of both youth and adults who are uninsured or do not have access to mental health care services.
In acknowledging the growing mental health crisis, our organization sees a twofold role for sport organizations in communities.
In order to fulfill our mission, our current endeavors involve four primary initiatives.
Additional articles providing more specific information on each of these strategies are coming soon.
The USC-MHS website contains an updated list of opportunities that individuals who are interested should refer to if they want to become involved (https://mentalhealthandsport.org/get-involved). We are also always grateful for donations to support our cause, help save lives by reducing suicide rates, and allow all sport participants to reach their optimum mental wellness. (https://mentalhealthandsport.org/donations/usc-mhs01/).
Margaret Domka is a Co-founder and the Executive Director of the U.S. Center for Mental Health & Sport. She is also carrying out mental health and sport research at Clemson University. Margaret is a Mental Health First Aid certified instructor and holds the IOC Certificate on Mental Health in Elite Sport. She is a former FIFA Women's World Cup referee and served on the USA panel of FIFA referees for 10 years.