Penn State Athletics announces mental health and wellness initiative

University Park, Pa. Penn State athletics announced a pair of important initiatives to enhance mental health services for its student-athletes. Heidi Christie and Kathryn (Katie) Pohland will join the health and wellness staff. Christie and Pohland will serve as athletic counselors and provide additional health and wellness resources and support to the student-athletes. In addition, the athletics announced a partnership with Mantra Health, the nation’s leading digital mental health clinic for young adults, to provide clinically comprehensive mental health services to its student-athletes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. can be provided.

“Supporting strong mental health is important to me personally and to our department,” said Dr. Patrick Kraft, vice president of intercollegiate athletics. “We must do our part to change the way mental health is viewed and combat the stigma surrounding it. More importantly, mental health plays an important role in overall student-athlete well-being and development, And we encourage our student-athletes to do the same. Make it a priority and seek help when they need it.

“We are looking forward to having Heidi and Katy join our staff and building out our mental health and wellness department with two additional positions. These four staff members and our partnership with Mantra Health will provide complementary resources to our student-athletes. Our efforts today will impact our student-athletes for years to come.”

Christie and Pohland are the first two of four health and wellness positions being added to assist student-athletes.

heidi christie

Christie, a licensed social worker, joined Penn State athletics on Nov. 21 after spending the past 11 years as a therapist for a private practice in Butler, Pennsylvania. In her role, she has provided individual therapy, group therapy, crisis management, and continuing care planning for adolescents. Christie has also served as a part-time instructor in the Department of Psychology at Butler County Community College since 2016.

Prior to moving to the private sector, Christie was the Lawrence County director for Catholic Charities from 2009-12 and PATH coordinator from 2006-09. He has also spent time at the Center for Community Resources and the Irene Stacy Community Mental Health Center.

A native of Butler County, Pennsylvania, Christie graduated from Slippery Rock University with a degree in social work in 1999 and earned a master’s in social work from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004.

Kathryn Pohland

Pohland, who starts Dec. 1, comes to Happy Valley after spending the past 15 years as vice president and therapist at Life Journey Counseling Center. In her position, Pohland facilitated assessment, diagnosis, and treatment for individuals, families, and couples. They coordinated care with caseworkers, primary care physicians, psychiatrists, and education staff at local schools and universities.

Prior to joining Life’s Journey Counseling Center, Pohland was a psychologist’s assistant at The Stern Center for Developmental and Behavioral Health for nine years. They consulted directly with psychologists regarding diagnosis and services, in addition to facilitating assessment, diagnosis, and services for children and adolescents. Pohland has also worked as a therapist at Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Services, Unity Family Services, and Adelphoi Village.

Pohland, a native of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, graduated from Penn State in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies. She also earned a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Seton Hill University in 2005. 2008.

Athletics partners with Mantra Health

Penn State athletics have formed a partnership with Mantra Health, which has partnered with the university since 2020, for psychiatric services to provide virtual therapy to its more than 850 student-athletes, accessible on nights and weekends.

“Less than half of female student-athletes feel their mental health is a priority for their athletic departments, and that’s not nearly enough,” said Ed Goosen, co-founder and CEO of Mantra Health. “We have clinicians trained in the issues facing student-athletes, who are not only navigating the classroom and on the field, but also facing additional barriers to care, including busy schedules, financial responsibilities and the need to seek help. Mantra Health is working closely with Penn State Athletics to combat this and ensure that all student-athletes are not only aware of the services available, but empowered to access them. “

Depression and anxiety are twice as common among student-athletes than before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an NCAA report. In addition, less than half of student-athletes said they would be comfortable seeking mental health care on campus, and only one in 10 college athletes access a professional mental health service.

Student-athletes in Penn State athletics, which houses 31 NCAA Division I teams, will now be able to access a comprehensive network of diverse digital mental health providers.

“Student-athletes are often celebrated for their achievements on the field, but this means they are far from struggling with mental health issues. At Mantra Health, we are eager to foster an environment and support system that that will help these athletes develop physically.” Academically and emotionally,” Gaussen said.

mantra about health

Mantra Health is a digital mental health clinic on a mission to improve access to evidence-based mental health care for young adults. By enhancing high-quality clinical services with software and design, we aim to improve the mental health of more than 20 million university and college students through partnerships with institutions of higher education and health insurance plans. The Mantra program is deployed on 105 campuses with more than 800,000 students, including Penn State, MIT, Cornell and Miami Dade College.

Learn more about how Mantra Health helps student-athletes here.

Leave a Comment