FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Doc Wayne Youth Services Selected to be Expert Provider for Multi-Year “Head In The Game” Program to Address Youth Mental Wellbeing Crisis in the U.S.
Launched last month on World Mental Health Day by Beyond Sport, the Z Zurich Foundation
and Zurich North America, the program places a special focus on BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth
BOSTON (November 16, 2023) – Doc Wayne Youth Services (“Doc Wayne”), a nonprofit innovator and provider of sport-based mental health therapy for youth, today announced it has been enlisted to serve as an Expert Provider to the “Head In The Game” program. The multi-year Beyond Sport program powered by Z Zurich Foundation and in collaboration with Zurich North America, provides mental wellbeing resources and training centered on prevention, promotion and attitude shifts, and building a learning community. The goal is to leverage sports – community, collegiate and professional – to positively impact 13- to 19-year-olds with a special focus on youth of color, LGBTQ+ youth and girls.
Doc Wayne was brought on as one of two Expert Providers to implement the capacity-building portion of the program, contribute content and resources for the Head In The Game awareness campaign, and participate in the Learning Community. As part of this work, Doc Wayne, along with experts from the Center for Healing and Justice through Sport (CHJS), is providing athlete-focused training for over 2,000 coaches around the country that addresses the needs of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and/or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning (LGBTQ+) youth.
“There are many incredibly complex topics and situations that arise when dealing with young people that coaches may be unsure on how to address. With Doc Wayne being at the forefront of trauma-informed sports-based trainings that support youth mental health,” our participating coaches will learn how to create intersecting, safe and engaging learning spaces that will positively impact youth, their families, and ultimately, communities as a whole,” said Adam Burgess, Program Director of Beyond Sport.
Doc Wayne’s Head In The Game workshops, curated by LGBTQ-identified youth development professionals, explore what it means to proactively create LGBTQ-affirming athletic spaces. Using an interactive, experiential approach, participants practice intervention techniques that address anti-LGBTQ behavior within sports. Participants will walk away with practical applications for how to better support their current or future LGBTQIA+ athletes. The workshops are free for coaches and are offered in person, virtually and as self-paced sessions.
“The impact of equipping and encouraging coaches to create affirming and welcoming spaces that see, hear, and celebrate youth of color, LGBTQ+ youth, and girls cannot be understated for improved mental health outcomes,” said Rebekah Roulier, LMHC, Managing Director of Doc Wayne. “The collaboration and breadth of the Head In The Game program is awe-inspiring, and will vitally reach disadvantaged populations throughout the U.S.” Roulier concluded, “Doc Wayne is deeply committed to systemic and everlasting change with the goal to create a more equitable and mentally healthy society for all.”
Head In The Game recognizes that mental wellbeing challenges exist for all youth demographics and this comprehensive program strives to include and benefit all. Though everyone’s mental wellbeing journey is different, Head In The Game wants young people to know that they are not alone. The initiative includes nonprofit grants, youth coach training, a multimedia awareness campaign, and a learning community that will be launching soon to foster collaboration, share insights, and continuously improve collective efforts to support teen mental health.
Doc Wayne is an innovator and provider of sport-based mental health therapy for youth. We provide services, tools and training that address emotional, behavioral, traumatic, racial, gender, and cultural-based barriers by providing equitable access to better mental health for all. Our clinician-led curricula puts sport into practice; programs are held in a gym or on a field at schools, community centers and in clinical settings. The approach fosters openness and trust that enables healing, the development of life skills and learning teamwork, with the benefits of physical activity. Strengthening the social-emotional skills in young learners helps to build healthier, more resilient global communities. Doc Wayne, headquartered in Boston with an office in Allston, MA, also has a growing team worldwide.
Beyond Sport is a global foundation that invests in organizations, programs and networks that use sport to positively impact communities. Believing that sport provides a powerful pathway to effective solutions addressing complex societal issues, the foundation employs a unique and holistic approach that leverages a global network of sport for social change innovators, progressive organizations and expertise built up over nearly two decades. Since 2008, it has provided approximately $9.5M in grants to 384 projects across 75 countries. www.beyondsport.org.