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Press Releases

The Child Mind Institute Launches Mental Health Fitness Awareness Campaign  

May 6, 2024

Karl-Anthony Towns, Jordan Chiles, Brandi Chastain and more star athletes share how they prioritize their mental health and stay mentally fit 

New York, NY – To mark Mental Health Awareness Month, the Child Mind Institute, the nation’s leading independent nonprofit in children’s mental health, is launching a powerful new mental health fitness campaign featuring athletes — from Olympic & Paralympic champions and contenders, to professional league players and athletes from the Special Olympics. The campaign aims to show kids what the greatest athletes do to prioritize their own mental health to be mentally fit. 

These are some of the remarkable athletes sharing how they are working to be mentally fit in preparation for the biggest sports competitions in the world:

  • Paralympic rugby player Sarah Adam (first woman on the U.S. Paralympic wheelchair rugby team) 
  • Wheelchair basketball champion Brian Bell (2x Paralympic gold medalist and qualified for Paris 2024) 
  • BMX freestyler Nick Bruce (2020 Olympian)
  • Soccer legend Brandi Chastain (World Cup and Olympic champion)
  • Gymnast Jordan Chiles (Olympic silver medalist) 
  • Former NBA player Baron Davis (former New York Knicks player)
  • Special Olympics athlete Brooke Ferguson (volleyball, basketball, bocce ball)
  • Swimmer Missy Franklin (4x Olympic gold medalist)
  • Figure skater Amber Glenn (U.S. national champion) 
  • Fencer Nick Itkin (Olympic medalist and qualified for Paris 2024)
  • NFL player Juwan Johnson (New Orleans Saints)
  • Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy (Olympic silver medalist)
  • Marathon runner Conner Mantz (Qualified for Paris 2024)
  • Marathon runner Fiona O’Keefee (Qualified for Paris 2024)
  • NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves) 
  • Surfer Tatiana Weston-Webb (Qualified for Paris 2024)
  • Married couple runner Hunter Woodhall (2x Paraolympian) and long jumper Tara Woodhall (2020 Olympian) 
  • NFL legend Steve Young (former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers)

Mental health fitness is the combination of core wellness skills (physical activity, diet, and sleep) with core mental health skills (understanding and expressing feelings, tolerating distress, and mindfulness). Research shows that physical activity allows children to have a better outlook on life by building confidence, managing anxiety and depression, and increasing self-esteem and cognitive skills. Helping kids build mental health skills is as important as making sure they are physically fit.

“We know that foundational mental health skills are going to help kids be great in their everyday life,” said Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, president and medical director of the Child Mind Institute. “By sharing messages from athletes, our campaign aims to empower children across the country to prioritize mental health fitness alongside physical fitness. The Child Mind Institute is honored to share these empowering messages and to cheer on these athletes as they compete at the highest levels.”

Videos will debut across the Child Mind Institute’s social platforms, and on, throughout the month of May.

The Child Mind Institute helps families practice mental health fitness with two powerful video series: Healthy Minds, Thriving Kids, for children from pre-K through grade 12, and Positive Parenting, Thriving Kids, for parents and other caregivers. Visit for more resources and tools to help the whole family.

Since 2017, the Child Mind Institute’s annual mental health awareness campaigns have featured notable individuals including Emma Stone, Bill Hader, Margot Robbie, P!nk, Octavia Spencer, Andrew Garfield, Reese Witherspoon, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, Zoe Saldana, Antoni Porowski, Bebe Rexha, Gabrielle Union, Jameela Jamil, Jonah Hill, Julianne Hough, Kevin Love, Lena Dunham, Gabby Sidibe, Mark Ronson, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Phelps, Misty Copeland, Sarah Silverman, Zoey Deutch, Kristen Bell, Emma Chamberlain, Tan France, and more. 

About the Child Mind Institute

(Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)

The Child Mind Institute is dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders by giving them the help they need. We’ve become the leading independent nonprofit in children’s mental health by providing gold-standard evidence-based care, delivering educational resources to millions of families each year, training educators in underserved communities, and developing tomorrow’s breakthrough treatments. Learn more at

For press questions, contact our press team at or our media officer at

Tagged with: Child Mind Institute News