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Flatirons Rush Soccer Makes Mental Health Care A High Priority

By Club Staff, 01/31/23, 9:00AM MST


ARVADA, CO, UNITED STATES, January 31, 2023 / -- Youth who played only individual sports tended to face more mental health difficulties than peers who played no sports at all. School aged athletes are consistently struggling with mental health issues, and this has become an important topic in the sports community. 

High-performance athletes often have extremely demanding schedules, which can create a lot of stress in their lives. In addition, many athletes feel pressure to succeed both on and off the field, which can lead them to experience feelings of anxiety and depression. The mental health needs of student-athletes are often neglected because of the busy schedules of most coaches and directors. However, mental health issues can hurt a student-athlete’s overall performance on the field. The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study is the largest long-term study of brain development and child health.

There is a disproportionate number of mental health issues among teens, as many teenagers suffer from mental health issues well before the age of 18, and has been a significant challenge for teens for quite some time. Being an athlete can add high levels of pressure and anxiety on the person striving to make grades in school and challenging for college scholarships or professional contracts can be very mentally stressful for kids. When a teenager is faced with challenges, they often do not have the tools to process through healthily and this can make them feel isolated and alone. This can lead to depressive symptoms such as anger, hopelessness, anxiety, irritability and agitation all of which can be extreme when combined with the challenges of being an athlete.

Flatirons Rush takes all of these issues very seriously and by partnering with Onrise has committed to the members to make mental health care a top priority in the club. Onrise provides mental health consultation services as well as individual and group therapy to our athlete members. Joe Webb, President of Flatirons Rush said, "Having this type of treatment available for players at the academy level is very exciting, this generation of players are under so much pressure and scrutiny and to be able to support them with the mental health professionals from Onrise is going to be very beneficial to everyone." They work closely with our Performance Staff to create wellness plans and strategies to help each of our players to achieve their full potential. By having Onrise at the Club we can identify and treat our players when they are experiencing emotional difficulties and give them the tools they need to cope, recover and thrive. Player Care Specialist Tasha Saunders said "The Onrise team is thrilled in the commitment Flatirons Rush has invested in their players’ mental health. In doing so, they have elevated the standard of care for Clubs across the country. Flatirons Rush will have a dedicated Player Care Specialist present for the 2023 season for the Academy, USL2, and WPSL teams."

It's a fairly significant step in the landscape for a youth soccer club to be offering mental health services at the Academy level. At the highest level of youth sports in the United States, there are very few teams that offer these services and for Flatirons Rush to offer it in their youth programs is a game changer. Flatirons Rush is the first to offer this at the Academy level in Colorado and it's a very strong move by the leadership at the club to make this happen.

Onrise offers on-demand mental health check-ins for coaches and athletes. The services and resources provided to athletes and coaches are focused on improving performance and well-being through improved mental and emotional health. They offer a wide range of coping mechanisms that help athletes learn to deal with the stress of being a high-level athlete while educating the coaches on how to properly address these pressures.

The benefits of Onrise include the following: Player Care Specialist trained in Mental Health First Aid provides one-on-one sessions and group sessions to help optimize health and well-being on and off the field. Performance enhancement resources for coaches include educational seminars, online tools and resources related to mental health and well-being. Athletes will be given a baseline Player Care Screening to help identify any gaps that need filling and to address immediate mental health concerns in athletes. From here Player Care Specialists can help guide or refer athletes to seek professional help from Onrise for issues related to stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and more.

By providing this service to our team and our community we can ensure that we are taking care of our players and providing them with the resources they need to optimize their well-being on and off the field.

Kim Quigley, MD and CEO of Onrise said, "Tasha Saunders MAT, Onrise Senior Player Care Specialist, and former collegiate soccer player will be available to provide preventative care for athletes through informal and formal check-ins. Flatirons Rush will have access to Onrise, an innovative mental health solution consisting of a Player Care Specialist, Masters level therapists, and Psychiatric professionals. We look forward to working with you all soon and are grateful to be partnered with Flatirons Rush! "

Joe Webb
Flatirons Rush Pro Development

Onrise PartnerShip

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