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OutAthlete St. Louis

Did you know that sports settings are where many LGBTQIA+ youth experience the most discrimination?

 

Or that the mental and physical health complications associated with discrimination increases drastically for queer athletes?

How about that athletes don't access mental health care as much as their peers because of the stigma of not having "mental toughness"?

Graphic of nine students posing in front of a rainbow figure.

To combat these challenges and foster more community for LGBTQIA+ athletes, we've created OutAthlete, a queer athlete mental health support resource.

OutAthlete is an 8-week aimed at reducing suicide risk and mental health challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ student-athletes (age 14-24). There will be separate groups for high school and young adults to best support their current lived experience.

 

The curriculum is grounded in psychoeducation focusing on unique factors contributing to the mental well-being of LGBTQIA+ student-athletes.

Meet Your Group Facilitator

Hannah Frazee (she/her), B.S.

Hannah F. (she/her) is an MSW student at Washington University and a graduate intern at Healing Exchange. As a queer person, she has felt the isolation that can come with navigating sport culture and hopes to create opportunities for more LGBTQIA+ people to connect, heal, and thrive by their own terms.

hannah headshot_edited.png

This group is for you if...

  • You feel isolated from teammates who don’t seem to understand your experience as an LGBTQIA+ athlete.

  • You want a space to explore how your mental health and mental performance skills are impacted by sports and the stigma faced as an LGBTQIA+ athlete.

  • You don’t feel that your sport is accepting of your identity.

  • You want a community to help you navigate and cope with the specific challenges that being an LGBTQIA+ athlete can have.

You do not have to currently be participating in sports to join. This group is for anyone in the above age ranges with the experience of being a queer athlete and would like a community space with those with similar identities.

track athletes running on a rainbow track

Spread the Word!

You may not be the person for this group but we could bet that you just might know someone! Take a moment to think...

  1. Do you have a high school student with this experience?

  2. Are you a therapist who serves this community?

  3. Do you work in a high school, undergraduate, or young adult setting with this community?

If so, copy and paste the the link for this page and email it, text it, and post it for those who might be interested and would benefit!

You can share any of the following as well: OutAthlete flyer (pdf), Infodeck (pdf) (link)

FAQs​

 

Why is a group like this needed?

Research shows that LGBTQIA+ athletes commonly feel unsafe and unwelcome in sports-related spaces. Research supports that having a space for LGBTQ students, especially ones related to shared identities (such as being an athlete), can improve resilience and mental health.

 

What is the group format?

Each session will focus on a different aspect of mental health (anxiety, stress, body image, etc.). The session will begin with an ice-breaker to allow members to get to know each other. Discussion, psychoeducation, and experiential activities will be utilized to help participants engage in the topic.


What other details do I need to attend?

​We are still in the planning stages of this group and will use the feedback from the survey to decide on the location, frequency, and other important details for the group.​

Who is this group for?

We plan to run separate groups based on age, depending on interest. Ideally, we hope to have a cohort of high school athletes and another for young adults. We are looking at having an in-person and virtual option as well.

I have not “come out” to my teammates/friends/family, am I still allowed to join this group?

Yes! This group is for anyone who identifies or is exploring their LGBTQ identity. Not being “out” is very common. In fact, of the 900 research participants in a study from 2019, 70-80% of athletes under 22 have not disclosed their sexuality or only partially disclosed their sexuality to teammates due to fear of rejection or discrimination.

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