Mental health in athletes has been an issue the Michigan High School Athletic Association has been focusing on for years.
A girls golf team in Saline has already started tournament play, but once school starts the stress increases, which is true for any high school athlete.
When coach Debbie Williams-Hoak addresses her team, it’s more involved than just the mechanics of the game. She was recently introduced to the Be Nice program by watching a training video, taking a quiz, and then implementing what she learned.
The Be Nice program is part of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. Christy Buck founded Be Nice. The program began 10 years ago to address bullying and suicide. Since it was originally founded it has evolved.
Three years ago, the Michigan High School Athletic Association decided to focus on athlete mental health and partnered with the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. Now, every Michigan high school coach in the state is receiving mental health training through Be Nice. That’s 20,000 coaches.