If you or someone you know about is thinking of harming yourself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255


Niagara Swimming - Athlete Wellness

The health, safety, and well-being of our athletes is a top priority. On this page, you will find information about a wide range of health and wellness topics including Anxiety, Depression, Dealing with Stress, Body Image, and Substance Abuse.

Anxiety:

Occasional anxiety is an expected part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia- related disorders.1

For more information, go to:

National Institute of Mental Health - Anxiety

Depression:

Most of us feel sad, lonely, or depressed at times. It's a normal reaction to loss, life's struggles, or injured self- esteem. But when these feelings become overwhelming, cause physical symptoms, and last for long periods of time, they can keep you from leading a normal, active life.2

For more information, go to:

National Institute of Mental Health - Depression

Stress:

The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert, motivated, and ready to avoid danger. Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between stressors. As a result, the person becomes overworked, and stress-related tension builds. The body's autonomic nervous system has a built-in stress response that causes physiological changes to allow the body to combat stressful situations. This stress response, also known as the "fight or flight response", is activated in case of an emergency. However, this response can become chronically activated during prolonged periods of stress. Prolonged activation of the stress response causes wear and tear on the body; both physical and emotional.3

For more information, go to:

Stress.org

Body Image:

Body image is the perception that a person has of their physical self and the thoughts and feelings that result from that perception. These feelings can be positive, negative or both, and are influenced by individual and environmental factors.5

For more information, go to:

National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)

Substance Abuse:

Substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs. Psychoactive substance use can lead to dependence syndrome - a cluster of behavioral, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and that typically include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal state.6

For more information, go to:

https://www.cdc.gov

Managing Symptoms:

The Center for Disease Control has some recommendations on managing the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Being healthy is important for all children and can be especially important for children with depression or anxiety. In addition to getting the right treatment, leading a healthy lifestyle can play a role in managing symptoms of depression or anxiety. Here are some healthy behaviors that may help:4

  • Having a healthy eating plan centered on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (for example, beans, peas, and lentils), lean protein sources, and nuts and seeds
  • Participating in physical activity for at least 60 minutes each day
  • Getting the recommended amount of sleep each night based on age
  • Practicing mindfulness or relaxation techniques

NAMI HelpLine

The National Alliance of Mental Health (NAMI) HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 am - 6 pm, Eastern Standard Time.

1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or info@nami.org

Sometimes it helps just to talk to someone. The NAMI HelpLine is a free, nationwide peer-support service providing information, resource referrals and support to people living with a mental health condition, their family members and caregivers, mental health providers and the public. HelpLine staff and volunteers are experienced, well-trained and able to provide guidance.7

  1. They understand, many from their own experiences, listen and offer support.
  2. They are informed on NAMI Programs, NAMI Support Groups and locate your local NAMI Affiliate.
  3. They are trained to help identify the best resource options for your individual concern.
  4. They are knowledgeable and a source of accurate information about relevant topics.
  5. They care.

Additional Mental Health Resources


1Anxiety Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
2
Signs of Clinical Depression: Symptoms to Watch For. (2019, September 17). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/detecting-depression#1
3Stress: Signs, Symptoms, Management & Prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11874-stress

4Anxiety and Depression in Children. (2020, March 30). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/depression.html
5Damea, & March, K. (2015, August 21). What is Body Image? Retrieved from https://www.psychalive.org/what-is-body-image/#:~:text=Body image is the perception,that result from that perception.&text=The way you FEEL about,weight, and individual body parts.
6Substance abuse. (2019, November 12). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/topics/substance_abuse/en/#:~:text=Psychoactive substance use can lead,use despite harmful consequences, a
7NAMI HelpLine. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/help