Press "Enter" to skip to content

U.S. Open will offer mental health services for athletes

The U.S. Open will give athletes entry to licensed mental health suppliers, quiet rooms and different services for this year’s event, officers announced Tuesday. The U.S. Tennis Association mentioned its new mental health initiative is aimed toward “providing best-in-class mental health support to players.”

All athletes on the event, which started on August 24 and concludes on September 12, will have entry to the services. In a press release, the tennis affiliation mentioned it hopes the initiative will assist eradicate the stigma of searching for the assistance of mental health professionals.

“Our goal is to make mental health services as readily available to athletes as services for a sprained ankle – and with no stigma attached,” mentioned Dr. Brian Hainline, who’s main the initiative. “We will provide an environment that fosters wellness while providing the necessary resources to readily allow mental health care seeking.”

Last month, tennis star Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open, citing her struggles with nervousness and melancholy. Osaka, who received final year’s U.S. Open, mentioned she declined to take part in information conferences to guard her mental health. She later opened up in regards to the fines she confronted because of skipping the media availability.

“Perhaps we should give athletes the right to take a mental break from media scrutiny on a rare occasion without being subject to strict sanctions,” Osaka wrote in an essay for Time Magazine final month. “In my case, I felt under a great amount of pressure to disclose my symptoms-frankly because the press and the tournament did not believe me. I do not wish that on anyone and hope that we can enact measures to protect athletes, especially the fragile ones.”

Osaka will start her journey for a possible third U.S. Open title on Monday.

Naomi Osaka on the U.S. Open on September 12, 2020, in New York City.

Al Bello/Getty

“The issue of mental health awareness has been brought to the forefront over the course of the global pandemic, as many individuals, players included, have struggled with the stresses and emotions that have come as a result of COVID-19,” Stacey Allaster, the tennis affiliation’s chief government, mentioned in a press release Tuesday.

“We look forward to seeing how the initiatives implemented at this year’s tournament, and in the coming months, make an impact on player wellbeing, and will continue to look for ways to improve and adapt as we move forward.”