AthMindset | Dr. Jessica Bartley, Director of Mental Health for Team USA

From significant injury as a soccer goalkeeper > to noticing a lack of resources > to leading the athlete mental health team for Team USA. And so much work and stories in between it all.

Senior Director of Psychological Services at USOPC and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Denver, Dr. Jessica Bartley chats with Lisa Bonta-Sumii, LCSW, CSW in this episode about athlete mental health for Team USA.

Dr. Jessica Bartley is the director of mental health for the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. Jessica focuses her efforts on building the organization’s commitment to supporting athletes holistically. Jessica Bartley is responsible for the development and implementation of mental health services and programming for Team USA.

Jessica has a decade-plus of work in the mental health space. She collaborates closely with the USOPC’s sport psychology team and internal mental health working group as she leads the management of mental health crisis, and the development and execution of mental health emergency action plans for Team USA athletes.

Prior to joining the USOPC, Jessica spent nearly eight years at the University of Denver in roles as a clinical assistant professor in the sport and performance psychology program, as well as a behavioral health consultant and staff psychologist. Prior to the University of Denver, she worked as a clinical psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A licensed psychologist and licensed clinical social worker in the state of Colorado, Bartley is also a certified mental performance consultant with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. (source: TeamUSA.org)

Questions/Topics explored in this conversation with Dr. Jessica Bartley:

– You have been recently promoted to the Senior Director of Psychological Services at the USOPC. Prior to that you held the position of the Director of Mental Health Services for the past 2 years. What brought on the creation of these roles? How do these 2 roles differ?

– What informs your interest in this work?

– The 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, highlighted athletes like Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka speaking up about their own mental health. How do you feel that these athletes sharing their personal stories impacts athlete mental health awareness?

– There are other Olympians who don’t have the kind of platform or visibility that Biles and Osaka have. What kinds of mental health experiences have you seen by the athletes that reach out to you for services?

– In recent months, you attended the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing. What was your experience like being there in the bubble? What were some of the mental health needs of the athletes that you and your team served?

– What action steps are essential to take to continue to address the mental health needs of Olympic and Paralympic athletes?

This is the AthMindset Podcast Series on SportsEpreneur. And it’s all about mental health in sports.

From Lisa: I’m Lisa Bonta Sumii and this is the AthMindset Podcast Series on SportsEpreneur. This podcast series is a space for conversations with athletes, coaches, practitioners, and stakeholders in sports. And it’s where those individuals share their perspectives, experiences, and thoughts on mental health in sports. 

Eric Kasimov of SportsEpreneur is generously hosting the AthMindset Podcast Series on his platform as he deeply believes that these conversations are essential and deserve to be prioritized.

This is the AthMindset Podcast Series on SportsEpreneur. SportsEpreneur — the content platform where sports, entrepreneurship, and mental health collide! If you are looking to start a podcast or create original content, you have to talk with the team at SportsEpreneur. I work with them and I vouch for them. It’s that simple. Go to SportsE.io to learn more. 

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