Collaboration addresses national student mental health crisis and urgent need for systemic changes using holistic, data-driven approach

September 11, 2023- The U.S. Council for Athletes’ Health announced a collaboration with Huron, a global professional services firm, to help colleges and universities better support the health and well-being of students. At a time when college athletics continues to evolve, along with the needs of student-athletes, a critical demand for physical, mental, and emotional well-being requires institutions to make urgent and systemic changes to answer the call.

This collaboration brings together the expertise and resources of two industry leaders to help institutions holistically address the needs of students nationwide by nurturing a community where student-athletes thrive mentally, physically, and emotionally, and universities are empowered to fulfill their vital role in that journey.

“It is imperative that we act. In a landscape where the demands and challenges facing student-athletes are evolving, our collaboration with Huron is a timely response to fortify the well-being of our athletes and help schools adjust to the changes coming,” said USCAH President and CEO Dr. James Borchers. “By integrating our strengths and expertise, we’re paving a path for universities to address the immediate health concerns while laying a foundation for sustained support and development.”

“Our collaboration with USCAH is about integrating our collective experience to empower universities with the right tools, strategies, and services to foster an environment that centers on student-athlete health,” said Laura Yaeger, managing director at Huron focused on helping institutions advance their mission and better serve the campus community.

The collaboration will identify best practices, conduct research, and create practical resources that support institutions’ efforts to promote student well-being. With USCAH’s expertise in student-athlete health and wellness combined with Huron’s extensive experience and proven track record in higher education, institutions can proactively address the diverse physical, mental and emotional health challenges students face and advance a culture that values student health and wellbeing.

In a recent NCAA survey, mental health concerns remained a top concern for student-athletes among demographic subgroups commonly displaying higher rates of mental distress. In addition, the NCAA Division I Transformation Committee Final Report determined the need for “expanded support by the NCAA and member schools in areas related to a student-athlete’s physical, mental and academic well-being.” At the federal regulatory level, a bipartisan group of senators is pursuing the College Athletes Protection & Compensation Act, which will include a provision of funding for long-term health care for athletes, emphasizing the commitment to the well-being and long-term health support for collegiate athletes, standardizing care across states. In addition to these external forces, instances of hazing, sexual abuse and harassment, life-threatening on-field injuries, and suicide are causing university leaders to reexamine their systems for supporting the health and wellness of their student-athletes.

Among the topics on which USCAH and Huron are advising institutions: 

  • Organizational Culture and Institutional Support
  • Prevention of Hazing, Substance Abuse, Sexual Assault
  • NCAA Compliance, Risk Management
  • Mental Health and Medical Care and Services
  • Athletic Injury Prevention and Treatment
  • Promotion of Healthy Nutrition and Lifestyle
  • Systems-level Approaches to Advance Well-Being

About USCAH: The U.S. Council for Athletes’ Health (USCAH) is a trusted partner to athletic organizations, providing unbiased medical expertise with a dedication to optimal health and safety for athletes. Comprising a multidisciplinary team of medical experts, USCAH works with all levels of athletic organizations to prioritize athlete well-being. From compliance and education to programming, the team at USCAH is united in its mission to inspire and ensure that athlete health and safety remain paramount in every athletic organization.

​​To learn more about USCAH, please visit: