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CSUN Athletics Partners With Sarah Shulze Foundation to Promote Mental Health

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - CSUN Athletics welcomed Scott and Brigette Shulze to campus Monday night (Oct. 30) as they presented a session on "Mental Health Matters: Lessons from Loss" to the Matador student-athletes, coaches and staff at the Northridge Center.

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - CSUN Athletics welcomed Scott and Brigette Shulze to Northridge as they presented a session on "Mental Health Matters: Lessons from Loss" to the Matador Athletics community Monday night (Oct. 30) at the Northridge Center.

More than 250 CSUN student-athletes, coaches, and staff were in attendance as the Shulze's discussed the Sarah Shulze Foundation's mission to support mental health education and awareness, promote suicide prevention tools, and to further student-athlete advocacy.  

The Schule's eldest daughter, Sarah, died by suicide in April 2022. A track student-athlete at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sarah was also a friend, a teammate, a daughter, a sister, a leader, a community activist and so much more. 

"I met Scott and Brigette at a mental health event on campus last spring," said Steve Grech, CSUN's Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Medicine. "I was moved with their newfound purpose in turning the loss of their daughter into doing good for others and furthering mental health awareness. They expressed how impressed they were with the mental health priorities that were already in place at both the university and within the Athletics Department.

"Mental health is a critical component of student-athlete wellness, and should be one of the highest priorities considered when creating an environment that promotes the development of excellence both on and off the field," added Grech. "As an Athletic Department, we want to create an environment and culture that promotes student-athlete wellness."

Following the Schulze's presentation, a panel of University Counseling Services staff members, including Dr. Amy Rosenblatt, Dr. Abram Milton, and Dr. Anne Eipe fielded questions from student-athletes on various topics surrounding mental health awareness.

"We are committed to the holistic development of each student-athlete," said Director of Athletics Shawn Chin-Farrell. "While we prioritize winning, we first and foremost prioritize the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of our student-athletes."

Mental Health is the number one medical issue impacting college students nationwide. CSUN Athletics has instituted a number of mental health initiatives including:

  • Access to University Counseling Services (UCS) - Two dedicated counselors are liaisons to Athletics for student-athlete mental health support.
  • Let's Talk - Programing once a week in Athletics sponsored by UCS (informal brief & confidential meetings): https://www.csun.edu/counseling/lets-talk.
  • "The Huddle" – bimonthly student-athlete support group and discussion space sponsored by UCS in Athletics.
  • Student-athletes and others in Athletics are encouraged to follow UCS on Instagram to gain awareness of year-round mental health programming, initiatives and positive mental health affirmations (UCS's Instagram: csun_counselingservices).
  • Outreach services/workshops on mental health topics for teams can be requested on a case-by-case/as needed basis.
  • Annual mental health workshops for all sports teams, including SA's completing mental health screens, discussion of important issues impacting student-athlete mental health.
  • Regular QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) trainings for all Athletics staff and administrators to open up lines of communication to SA's, including about suicide and serious mental health concerns (and to facilitate time-sensitive referrals to UCS).
  • The addition of Dr. Jacob Jenson, Sport Psychology Consultant (SPC) for Athletics. Sport Psychology is intended to focus on the mental side of performance enhancement.  The SPC builds relationships with coaches, teams, and student-athletes by meeting with them in-person on a consistent basis to establish open communication and trust.  The SPC helps student-athletes understand the mental factors that impact their performance and teaching applied mental training tools such as mindfulness and anxiety reduction.

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Gallery: (10-31-2023) Mental Health Matters: Lessons From Loss

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