Nike Joins the Mental Health Conversation With Its ‘No Off-Season’ Podcast Featuring Several Star Athletes

Nike is joining the mental health conversation in a major way with a new podcast.

With Mental Health Awareness Month here, the athletic giant has launched a new podcast, titled “No Off-Season.” The first episode debuted today and new episodes will publish weekly in the Nike Trained podcast feed via Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

According to a statement, the podcast aims to remove the stigma around asking for help and features conversations around overcoming mental health hurdles. Also, Nike explained that the hope is to show people who are facing mental health challenges that they are not alone and that there is strength in asking for help.

The podcast will feature conversations with several notable Nike athletes who have confronted mental health issues, and Nike described the conversations as “empathetic” that “will serve both the communities that need them most and the podcast-listeners everywhere.” What’s more, Nike said “No Off-Season” will explore how people deal with difficult emotions while and addresses topics such as anxiety, depression, PTSD and others.

The talks are led by Dr. Shairi Turner and Natalia Dayan, who are with the not-for-profit mental health organization Crisis Text Line.

The first episode features NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns. Subsequent conversations will include Olympic silver medal-winning track-and-field star Raven Saunders, decorated Paralympic athlete Tatyana McFadden, Olympic medal-winning gymnast Laurie Hernandez, double amputee marathon Boston marathon winner Marko Cheseto and others.

The podcast is releasing at a time when the conversations might be needed the most. Citing commissioned research on behalf of Nike and Crisis Text Line, the athletic brand revealed in a statement that roughly 1 in 2 (47%) athletes only seek mental health resources when they experience something traumatic. Also, the research revealed 66% of athletes who do not actively have conversations about mental health want to talk about it, but do not know what resources are available.

The commissioned research also revealed something positive: 95% of athletes reported that taking time to pause and reflect each day mace a difference.

Nike said via statement that the commissioned research  took place between Sept. 28, 2021 and Oct. 1, 2021, and featured a sampling of 2,376 active Americans ages 18-45.

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