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UBC Thunderbirds
Mental Health

Athletics & Recreation

Your support will save lives

You can help establish dedicated mental health supports for the UBC Thunderbirds.

One in five individuals is affected by mental health problems. No one is immune, including athletes. Despite being perceived as physically fit, active and healthy, athletes can suffer just as much as anyone else from mental health problems.

The mental health of university students is impacted by many factors including depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, financial stress, eating disorders, substance abuse and suicidality. Student-athletes can also experience these mental health concerns, but with the added stress from athletic pressure, season ending injuries and the destructive elements that can accompany a competitive environment such as heckling and online abuse. As full-time students at a demanding academic university, the athletes also face additional pressure to maintain their classwork and grades despite a demanding competition schedule.

Today, UBC’s student-athletes utilize the existing services the university has available for all students to support mental health. While comprehensive for UBC’s nearly 60,000 students, these services can be over-subscribed and difficult for student-athletes to arrange around their intensive practice and competition schedule.

The latest data from our campus partners shows that initial mental health appointments for UBC student-athletes increased 95% between 2020 and 2022. The data also reveals there is an increased demand from coaches and staff needing information on how to navigate mental health concerns with student-athletes.

The UBC Department of Athletics and Recreation is thrilled to move forward with our plans for dedicated mental health support for our UBC Thunderbirds. As part of this initiative, we are looking for gifts to support this crucial resource for our athletes. With each $10,000 per year we receive, we will be able to provide a half day of mental health support. A total of $100,000 in donations annually would mean UBC Athletics & Recreation could secure a full-time mental health professional for our department.

Your support will save lives. Our goal is to be able to offer all of our 600+ student-athletes on-demand, in-house, dedicated mental health support. In order to do this, we need your commitment to help us reach our funding goals.


FORWARD, the campaign for UBC, is advancing healthy lives, creating solutions for the planet, and shaping thriving societies. Donors and alumni are the catalyst making it happen.