The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announced its plans to hold its first-ever Mental Health Awareness Week, created by the organization’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

NYSPHSAA Mental Health Awareness Week will take place Monday, April 29 through Friday, May 3, 2019. The news was announced in a release posted on the organization’s website.

The move represents the latest example of increased attention on mental health among student-athlete populations, and is aimed at handling stress, recognizing signs and symptoms of mental health issues, and breaking the stigma associated with mental health.

“Mental Health Awareness Week is designed to encourage schools to provide training to non-healthcare professionals such as coaches and athletic directors as well as fellow students to help them identify signs and symptoms of mental illness and provide resources to those who need them,” the release reads.

“We are extremely proud of the members of the NYSPHSAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for designing a Mental Health Awareness Week,” Dr. Robert Zayas, the organization’s executive director said. “These student-athletes have identified this as a problem in their schools and have come up with a way to help their friends and classmates. We are well aware of the issues with mental health in our society today and applaud the SAAC for trying to help with this major dilemma.”

Mental Health Awareness Week will include a social media campaign with different themes for each day. Schools are invited to participate in the campaign by leveraging a social media tool kit available through the Association.

Jason Scott is Online Managing Editor of Athletic Business.