Northern Michigan Athletic Directors Discuss New Training Requirements for Coaches

High school student athletes across Michigan are getting back to practice this week, but there are new training requirements for coaches this year.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association is requiring coaches to undergo mandatory training on mental health issues.

That’s on top of more detailed training in recent years on issues like concussions and proper hydration.

As these Michigan student athletes head into a brand new season, their coaches  recently completed new training on handling mental health issues and suicide prevention

“The big thing was the identification of the statistics. It’s the third leading cause of death in kids that are ages 10-20 years old so that in of itself that really opened their eyes. Then there’s the statistic of 20% of high school athletes go through some kind of mental depression or anxiety,” said Fred Bryant, Director of Athletics at Cadillac Area Public Schools.

The MHSAA has also added training in recent years for concussions and proper hydration. It’s all aimed at keeping students safe and healthy.

“Our coaches now are being trained on how to identify signs and symptoms, and now’s it’s even tougher to get back in the game so when a student is identified with a concussion now they have to be medically released,” explained Bryant.

Coaches spend a good chunk of time with students.

This training could help them become the first to notice a problem and talk about it.

“It’s nice to know what kids are dealing with, what kids have going on, there are so many things. We spend so much time with kids, they get here in the morning at 7:30 and if you’re a coach and they’re and athlete they don’t go home sometimes at 9 or 10 at night if you have an away game,” said Forest Area Athletic Director Brian Mumby.

If you, or anyone you know needs help, know that it is always available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

That number is: 800-273-TALK (8255).

The federal government says soon you’ll be able to call a three digit help number similar to 911.

The Federal Communications Commission says there is overwhelming support for a three-digit number because it makes it easier for people to get help.

The agency says it is working on making 9-8-8 a suicide prevention line.