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Nike Teams Up With Crisis Text Line To Drive More Mental Health Access To POC

When it comes to playing sports, the first thing many people may think of is the physical demands that come with competing. The long hours of practice and training for a big game, the conditioning and even the recovery. But as Gold and Silver Olympic medalist Laurie Hernandez and Nike execs pointed out, the physical activity is only part of what it takes to be an athlete. Mental health plays a key role in any activity and directly impacts performance.

mitú was invited by Nike to attend the 2022 L’Attitude conference, a business-based national initiative focused on helping enlightened executives understand The New Mainstream Economy and the U.S. Latino cohort that is driving it.

During the L’Attitude event, Nike lead several inspiring panels that hosted Nike executives, local business owners, and athletes. One of the panels zeroed in on how Nike is expanding its wellness footprint.

We got to hear from Nike’s VP of North America Comms, Vanessa Garcia-Brito, the owner of Sally’s Shoes, Sally Aguirre, Olympian, Laurie Hernandez, and more on how they’re teaming up with Nike to build a culture of belonging and inclusivity.

“Mental health plays a huge role in an athlete’s journey, wherever they’re going, whether it’s to an upcoming competition, or trying to get a scholarship, or going to the Olympics. Only training your body and not your mind will lead to failure,” said Gold and Silver medalist Laurie Hernandez via Zoom as she went on to describe her own mental wellness journey.

But historically, Black and Brown communities have not had direct access to mental health resources. As part of its commitment to inclusivity of mental health resources, Nike has partnered with Crisis Text Line, a nonprofit that provides free 27/7 crisis counseling via text messaging in both, English and Spanish.

“Nearly 33% of Latinos with mental health issues are receiving treatment and over half of Latino youth 18-25 with serious mental illness are not receiving treatment,” said Dr. Shairi Turner, Chief Health Officer of Crisis Text Line.

To help drive more mental health resources to disproportionately affected communities, Nike and Crisis Text Line have made a commitment to destigmatize mental health.

“Together we’ve made it clear that mental health is a team sport, we’re not alone on this journey. Together we continue to find innovative ways to elevate the conversation about mental health because as people of color, as a community, it’s important to help or to seek help,” said Dr. Shairi Turner.

The path to a healthier mental wellness journey begins with dialogue. Crisis Text Line recently developed the capacity to use its crisis counseling texting service in Spanish to diminish the language barrier and provide access to Spanish-language speakers.

For those seeking support on more of a familial level, community members like Sally Aguirre, owner of Sally’s Shoes, open their doors.

“Sally’s is not just sneakers. It’s hope. It’s inclusion. It’s acceptance,” said Sally Aguirre when describing what her sneaker store represents for her and her community.

“You come in there, it’s familiar and you can feel the love when [customers] come in.”

If you or anyone you know is in crisis and need to talk to someone, text HOME to 741741 to reach a volunteer Crisis Counselor from Crisis Text Line. Services are available in English and in Spanish.

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