ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference formally announced today, in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Month, the formation of the Big Ten Mental Health and Wellness Cabinet, which includes representatives from all 14 Big Ten institutions, as well as sport affiliate members Johns Hopkins (women’s and men’s lacrosse) and Notre Dame (men’s hockey). In conjunction with today’s announcement, the Big Ten Conference is pleased to share that all Big Ten student-athletes, coaches, full-time members of university athletic departments and conference staff members will receive free, unlimited access to Calm, the No. 1 mental fitness app for helping individuals experience lower stress, less anxiety, improved focus and more restful sleep.
“When I was hired as the Commissioner of the Big Ten Conference, a core pillar of my vision was to make sure that we educate, embrace, engage and empower our more than 9,500 student-athletes. This is a complex and stressful time in our society and the mental health and wellness of our Big Ten family is a critical component of our focus,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. “The Cabinet will be instrumental for us both short and long term, as we pursue our goal of creating and maintaining the most comprehensive mental health and wellness platform in college athletics.”
“Our hope is that the Calm mental fitness app will provide an immediate resource for all Big Ten student-athletes, coaches, athletic department staff members and conference staff during these unprecedented times and is only the first of many steps that we will take in the area of mental health and wellness. We are fortunate to have so many professionals on our campuses who have dedicated their lives to tackling mental health issues. We were driven to supplement their inspiring work with additional resources, important under normal circumstances, but even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Cabinet was established in December 2019 by Commissioner Warren to promote optimal mental health for student-athletes and is comprised of 31 individuals representing a wide range of disciplines, including mental health educators, medical doctors, faculty athletic representatives and senior woman administrators. These industry leaders will take a comprehensive, systemic and interdisciplinary approach to establishing mental health programs, while also providing counsel, advice and expertise to the conference office.
“I think the work the Big Ten Conference is doing with regard to mental health initiatives is incredibly important,” Ohio State head football coach Ryan Day said. “Forming a Mental Health and Wellness Cabinet is a reflection of the conference’s leadership, engagement and support for mental health initiatives. These efforts will help bring much-needed attention and awareness to the subject of mental health.”
Calm is the world’s No. 1 app for mental fitness, with more than 100 hours of original audio content on topics ranging from anxiety to stress, gratitude, sleep and more. Calm has been named Apple’s 2017 App of the Year and a Google Play Editor’s Choice in 2018. Calm’s two most popular content offerings are its Daily Calm (new daily 10-minute meditation) and its Sleep Stories (bedtime stories for grown-ups).
The membership of the Big Ten Mental Health and Wellness Cabinet for Indiana University are Dr. Tony Moles, Director of Counseling and Sports Psychology, and Mattie White, SWA/Sr. Associate AD for Academic Services and Excellence. For Purdue University are Dr. Kelsey Dawson, Sports Psychologist, and Dr. Brad Foltz, Sports Psychologist.
Conference Announces Continued Suspension Of Activities
The Big Ten Conference announced today that it will extend the previously announced suspension of all organized team activities through June 1, 2020, and will re-evaluate again at that time.
This is an additional measure to the previously announced cancellation of all conference and non-conference competitions through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the academic year. The Conference also has previously announced a moratorium on all on- and off-campus recruiting activities for the foreseeable future.
The Big Ten Conference will continue to use this time to work with the appropriate medical experts and institutional leadership to determine next steps relative to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The main priority of the Big Ten Conference is to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty, fans and media as we continue to monitor all developing and relevant information on the COVID-19 virus.