Dr. Leila Ellis-Nelson: Advocacy for Comprehensive Mental Healthcare in Elite Athletics
Mental health advocacy has the potential to take many forms, and we also recognize that taking time to prioritize your mental health and well-being can be difficult for many of us. We'd like to offer some ideas to help everyone from our Olympic heroes to our hometown heroes.
- Advocating for sufficient physical and mental health breaks between events, tasks, and assignments.
- As a former gymnast, a cool thing we did in our gym was to have one of our rotations be a rest-stop where we were meant to give our minds and bodies a break.
- Building in breaks to my daily calendar holds me accountable to taking care of myself.
- Providing equitable and accessible resources to behavioral, mental health, and medication management services to athletes, employees, partners, and community members; keeping a working referral list on-hand is ideal.
- Hiring a mental health professional specializing in health psychology or sports psychology to provide services to athletes within your gyms, students in your schools, and employeers in your workplaces.
- Including mentorship as a core value for coach-athlete relationships, student-faculty, and employer-employee relationships. When we have moer intimate interpersonal relationships, it's easier to notice when someone is struggling, and provides more of an opportunity to support one another.
- Hire a diverse staff to allow for diverse representation in personnel who will be uniquely able to call attention to the cultural differences impacting mental health care.
- Promote mental health awareness and wellness by having one hour a week (at a minimum) to be dedicated to self-care where you indulge in an activity solely meant for relaxation and restoration.
- Self Explore, Self Restore by Michelle Goodloe: This journal is your invitation to create a self-loving life on your own terms and on your own schedule.
- Liberate Meditation: Develop meditation habits aimed at helping you stress less, reduce anxiety, and sleep better.
- Black People Go To Therapy Too: This podcast seeks to not only shine a light on the stigmas surrounding people of color and our mental well-being but seeks to engage our community in conversations about our experiences in therapy--good and bad.
- Coffee, Hip-Hop, & Mental Health: The beauty of our work is rooted in creating necessary opportunities for people to open up and build. Encouraging the black & brown community to speak up for themselves. Creating access to physical, emotional and mental well-being, while also working to create economical opportunities.
Leila Ellis-Nelson, Psy.D. | Pronunciation Lee-Luh El-liss - Nel - son
Assistant Professional Practice Professor, Department of Psychology, Roosevelt University
CEO & Co-Founder, Changing Perspectives & Coffee Hour Chicago
Assistant Professor, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Board Member, Illinois Association of Prescribing Psychologists