Athletic Training and Public Health



Athletic Training Advances Public Health

Taskforce Charge: The NATA Board of Directors approved the formation of the Athletic Training and Public Health (ATPH) Taskforce in June 2020 to operate for a period of three years. During this time, the goals of the ATPH Taskforce are:

1. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the current level of public health work being accomplished by athletic trainers
2. Integrate public health knowledge into the athletic training education process, and
3. Enhance currently used public health practices and approaches already in clinical athletic training practice.



Taskforce Deliverables

  1. Conduct an initial, profession-wide survey to assess current public health (PH) engagement

  2. Embed PH language/concepts throughout athletic training (AT) curricula with collaboration from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)

  3. Develop materials to support AT faculty integrating PH into curricula with collaboration from CAATE

  4. Establish formal strategic partnerships and deepen those that exist

  5. Encourage NATA members to engage with APHA, especially those aligned with NATA strategic plan

  6. Implement programming and initiatives with PH partners

  7. Provide/ Identify PH-based research funding

  8. Published report on ATPH integration

  9. Develop educational materials for membership to demonstrate that AT has been using PH practices for decades




Education Committee

Created to develop resources for athletic training educators to imbed public health concepts in curricula and prepare the workforce for advancing public health.

Research Committee

Created to investigate the current understanding and delivery of public health services in athletic training practice.


Learn more on the ATPH Taskforce page.





This event series was created in collaboration with the American Public Health Association's Injury Control and Emergency Health Services Section.


The AT and Addressing Suicide in Secondary School and Collegiate Student Athletes Part 1

The AT and Addressing Suicide in Secondary School and Collegiate Student Athletes Part 2

The AT and Addressing Suicide in Secondary School and Collegiate Student Athletes Part 3


Further Resources:




988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States. 



Action Alliance Framework for Succcessful Messaging

The Safety (or “safe messaging”) component of the Framework for Successful Messaging focuses on avoiding potentially harmful messaging content. Certain types of messages about suicide can increase the likelihood that at-risk individuals will consider or attempt suicide themselves. Content that undermines prevention goals is problematic as well.



American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Established in 1987, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death.



APHA Suicide Topic - Resources

APHA resource page for suicide



ATs Care - Mental Health Card Handout 

Handout describing what to do when helping patients/athletes in crisis.



ATs Care Website

The ATs Care program is designed to offer crisis management training opportunities for athletic trainers dealing with the aftermath of a critical incident. The mission of the ATs Care Commission is to aid ATs and AT students who have been through a critical incident by utilizing a peer-to-peer system to assist, monitor and encourage these individuals to seek initial support through state or regional ATs Care teams.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Suicide Prevention

CDC resources for facts, risk and protective factors, prevention strategies, and other resources



Communities Healing Adolescent Depression and Suicide (CHADS) Coalition

CHADS is a 501(c)(3) organization offering Signs of Suicide®, Family Support, and Social Emotional Well-being programs to advance the awareness and prevention of depression and suicide. Aside from providing adolescents and young adults ages 25 and under with counseling services and educational programs, we also serve parents, educators, and community members with resources, presentations, and more to provide a holistic and proactive approach to mental illness and bullying.



Education Development Center - Suicide, Violence, and Injury Prevention

Education Development Center (EDC) is a global nonprofit that advances lasting solutions to improve education, promote health, and expand economic opportunity. Since 1958, we have been a leader in designing, implementing, and evaluating powerful and innovative programs in more than 80 countries around the world. With expertise in areas such as suicide prevention, early childhood development and learning, and youth workforce development, EDC collaborates with public and private partners to create, deliver, and evaluate programs, services, and products.



Higher Education Mental Health Alliance - Postvention: A Guide for Response to Suicide on College Campuses

This resource is intended for use by colleges and universities that are affected by and/or want to be prepared for campus crises and campus deaths.  Suicide postvention efforts address the need for predetermined strategies to effectively and sensitively respond to campus deaths after they occur. 



Hilinksi's Hope Foundation

Hilinski’s Hope Foundation is a non-profit organization formed to promote awareness and education of mental health and wellness for student athletes. The Foundation’s mission is to educate, advocate, and eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness, while funding programs that provide student-athletes with the tools and resources that support their mental health and wellness.



National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) - Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Course

With a focus on wellness, including both physical and psychological, this course highlights causes, strategies and provides helpful resources for students, their peers and anyone responsible for their care and well-being.



National Institute of Mental Health - Suicide Prevention

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders. NIMH is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest biomedical research agency in the world. NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).



NCAA - Sport Science Institute - Mental Health

Collaborating with the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committees, as well as the most established medical, mental health and sports medicine organizations in the country, the SSI provides educational resources and inter-association best practices and tools which offer a model of care for student-athlete mental health.  This guidance encourages athletic environments that support help-seeking and facilitate early identification through appropriate referral and care. Establishing protocols for care means more equitable care across sports and within schools in support of college athlete mental health and well-being.



Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) - Linking Education and Awareness for Depression and Suicide (LEADS) for Youth

Linking Education and Awareness for Depression and Suicide (LEADS) for Youth is a evidence-based suicide prevention curriculum designed for high schools. LEADS for Youth is an informative and interactive opportunity for students and teachers to increase knowledge and awareness of depression and suicide.



Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) is the only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the implementation of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. SPRC is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).



The Jason Foundation

The Jason Foundation, Inc. (JFI) is dedicated to the prevention of the “Silent Epidemic” of youth suicide through educational and awareness programs that equip young people, educators/youth workers and parents with the tools and resources to help identify and assist at-risk youth.



The JED Foundation - Strengthening Schools

For students, their school community is a critical part of their support network and emotional safety net. JED works directly with high schools, colleges, and universities representing millions of students to put systems, programs, and policies in place to create a culture of caring that protects student mental health, builds life skills, and makes it more likely students will seek help and struggling students will be recognized, connected to mental health care, and supported.



Unlimited Resilience

Telehealth therapy, for athletes by athletes