Michigan’s Athletes Connected program focused on mental health is producing a Q&A series with various Wolverine athletic department staff talking about issues of mental wellness. The series kicked off this week with an interview of Michigan diving coach Mike Hilde.
Athletes Connected is an ongoing series working to reduce stigma about mental health issues, bring awareness to the ongoing issue in the lives of many student-athletes and help promote coping skills among student-athletes. The new series tackles the multi-faceted issue of mental health from new perspectives – those of athletic department staff.
Hilde weighs in on how he deals with student-athlete wellness as a coach. “I think I play more of a role than just the direct coaching aspect,” he says in the interview. “I am also there to help them through situations outside of the pool whether it is in relationships, handling school, stressed out or overwhelmed.
“I think the term coach carries more weight than the traditional definition of the word. As a coach I need to be a mentor and friend to these athletes.”
Longtime SwimSwam readers will know that this is an issue near and dear to our hearts, and that various Athletes Connected staff and student-athletes have helped contribute to our lengthy, ongoing series about mental health in athletes. Hilde echoes the importance of mental health awareness among coaches in his Q&A.