Stanford Affirms Commitment to Athlete Mental Health

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Stanford athletics

The suicide death of Stanford University senior women's soccer co-captain Katie Meyer shocked the nation last week, and the Cardinal athletics department didn't hesitate after Tuesday's tragic news to reaffirm and expand its mental health support services for student-athletes. 

As reported by The Stanford Daily, director of athletics Bernard Muir sent an email to all student-athletes that highlighted supplemental athlete-specific resources in addition to Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and other campus-wide resources. The department will now have Athletic Academic Resource Center (AARC) advisors and athletic trainers on hand at the AARC and athletic training room Monday through Friday.

The advisors and trainers are not necessarily mental health professionals, but Stanford Athletics also encouraged athletes to schedule an appointment with the sports psychology staff. 

“It is worth noting that the AARC and athletic training spaces are intended as gathering places for our athletics community to process this tragedy together, and they are different from the Sports Psychology resources which pair trained mental health professionals with student-athletes,” an athletics representative wrote.

Related: Stanford Soccer Goalkeeper Death Deemed 'Self-Inflicted'

The Daily also noted midweek that numerous teams had paused practice following discovery of Meyer’s death Tuesday. 

Although Stanford Athletics is not yet “able to share any official plans for paying tribute to Katie,” according to an email from an athletics representative, the student body at large and several teams have already honored her publicly.  

The women’s soccer team organized a candle-lighting ceremony to honor Meyer on Wednesday night at Cagan Stadium — the very venue in which Meyer played and practiced for the last four years, helping lead the Cardinal to a national championship her freshman year in 2019.

The women’s basketball team, in Las Vegas for the Pac-12 Tournament, held a vigil of its own to honor Meyer, who was a vocal supporter of women’s sports.

Members of the women’s basketball team also honored Meyer in their Thursday afternoon game by wearing “KM” wrist tape and Stanford soccer t-shirts pregame. Also on Thursday, members of the men’s volleyball team similarly wore “KM” wrist tape and wrote the letters on their sneakers in their game versus Concordia. Men’s basketball also honored Meyer with Stanford soccer warm-up shirts before they faced Arizona, the Daily reported. 

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