In conjunction with National Mental Health Awareness Month, Virginia Tech Athletics and the Hokie Club are pleased to announce a special donation campaign to support the Sports Psychology Program and its Counseling and Mental Performance in Athletics (CAMP) staff. .
The purpose of this fundraising effort is to supplement the overall budget of CAMP, which provides counseling, team counseling and other resources to student-athletes to enrich their mental health while at Virginia Tech. .
Through your philanthropic support, you have the opportunity to have a lasting impact on the mental well-being of our student-athletes here at Virginia Tech. Click here to support Sport Psychology and CAMP staff because they contribute to improving the lives of young people.
“We really strive to create an environment where student-athletes feel comfortable enough to address their mental health with our sport psychology staff,” said Dany White, Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Student-Athlete Services and University Affairs. “They do an exceptional job of ensuring that our student-athletes can improve and maintain their mental well-being in order to have the best possible experience at Virginia Tech.”
The CAMP program is led by Dr. Gary Bennett, associate athletic director of sports psychology and a dedicated servant of Virginia Tech since 1995. In addition to coordinating CAMP, Bennett provides individual counseling to Hokie student-athletes, consults with staff at training and education on student-athlete needs and is available 24 hours a day to nearly 600 student-athletes at Virginia Tech.
“Helping student-athletes on their journey to improve their mental well-being is extremely important to us,” Bennett said. “We want to be able to make sure our student-athletes have all the resources they need to progress on that same course while they’re at Blacksburg.”
Virginia Tech student-athletes actively seek to improve their mental health through CAMP. Their staff also offers team building sessions to improve chemistry, as well as support groups and mindfulness workshops.
Emma Atkinson, a second-year swimming student-athlete from the United States, noted the importance of the CAMP staff to her development both in the pool and in her everyday life.
“Everyone strives to be the best version of themselves they can be,” said Atkinson, who finished sixth in the nation in the 200m at the 2022 NCAA Championships. talk about my mental health issues, and with the help and support CAMP provides, I know I can be the best version of myself.”
Mekhi Lewis, the only NCAA champion in Virginia Tech Wrestling history, echoed Atkinson’s praise for CAMP and how instrumental the program has been in his athletic and personal life.
“Meeting a CAMP staff member has been a big part of my success this season,” said Lewis, who was named 2022 ACC Wrestler of the Year. all aspects of my life and helped me work on having more positive days than negative ones. I was so grateful to be able to work with my advisor this year.”
This program is essential for student-athletes to succeed in their own mental health journey before they can ultimately triumph in competition. 2022 NCAA Indoor Pole Vault Champion Rachel Baxter credited CAMP for helping her through some of the challenges she faced.
“As student-athletes, it’s important to be able to talk to someone outside of our sport, and our sports psychology staff are ready to help around the clock,” Baxter said, months after being became the first student-athlete to win four direct ACC indoor event titles. “They know what it’s like to be a student-athlete and I’m so grateful to have all the resources we have.”