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UNLV Sports Medicine

Evaluation and Management of Psychological Conditions in UNLV Student-Athletes

Mental health issues include but are not limited to anxiety, depression, eating disorders, disruptive behavior, suicidal thoughts and feelings, and attention deficit/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

This document serves as a statement of the UNLV Athletic Department Policy regarding how coaches and other members of the staff will be expected to handle situations related to mental health in UNLV student athletes.

Management of Suspected or Known Mental Health Issues in UNLV Student Athletes:

  • Mental health issues in UNLV student athletes are expected to be handled by UNLV staff in the same manner by which all other health related issues should be managed in UNLV student athletes.
    • That manner being prompt communication of the issues and concerns to the UNLV Sports Medicine Medical Staff, which consists of the Athletic Trainer for the sport and the UNLV Team Physician.
  • Whether a UNLV coach or other member of the staff has specific knowledge or merely concern for the existence of a mental health issue it is her/his responsibility to communicate this to the appropriate UNLV Sports Medicine Staff.
  • The UNLV Sports Medicine Staff will then be responsible for assessing the student athlete and stated concerns. The UNLV Sports Medicine Staff will implement assessment and treatment per UNLV Sports Medicine protocols. Failure of UNLV Coaches and other Staff to Follow this Policy and Procedure:

  • Lack of clear consistent communication of findings and care recommendations occur in cases where members of the staff refer student athletes directly to UNLV CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) without involvement of the UNLV Sports Medicine Staff.
    • The UNLV Sports Medicine Department has developed a mechanism in conjunction with UNLV CAPS for the communication of mental health findings and recommendations.
  • Returning a student athlete with known or suspected mental health issues to the practice and play environment without a full understanding of the current assessments, findings, and plan of care potentially compromises the health and safety of the student athlete and in some instances that of other participants and the staff.
  • Failure of the UNLV Coaches and Staff to follow this policy and procedure creates potential liability for the staff member, the athletic department, and the university.

    A UNLV Coach or Staff member who chooses to ignore or otherwise avoid implementation of this policy and procedure when a potential mental health issue arises is acting in direct contradiction to the health and well-being of the student athlete. This will be viewed as a failure to follow UNLV Policy and Procedure.

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