Retreating to Restore: A Haven for the Athletic Mind and Body

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Virginia Tech


Mental health struggles and suicide rates in athletic populations have been on the rise for the past two decades, with an even bigger increase since the pandemic. Disorders such as stress, depression, and anxiety have been the main causes for these struggles and fatalities. The growing rates of mental health disorders and suicide within this population indicate that athletes do not have the adequate resources to restore and improve their mental health. In some instances of presenting their troubles to coaches, staff, or teammates, their only advice is to seek help with on-campus resources or resources at home. Although this can be sound advice in some cases, this can also create the sense that there is no escape from what may be the cause of these mental obstacles. The purpose of this thesis is to create a mental health retreat for collegiate, professional, olympic, and retired athletes. Tucked away at the edge of Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C., in between existing amenities such as the Carter Barron Amphitheatre and the William Fitzgerald Tennis Center, the retreat allows for the continual use of existing amenities along with other resources and practices provided on-site. This retreat aims to provide spaces and resources at a location that teams or individuals can visit to allow for healing and education about these mental health disorders. This serene space in the middle of a chaotic big city will provide space for resting, performing, healing, and overall restoring which begins to break the barriers between what can be overcome in the feelings that may seem indomitable.



Retreat, Mental Health, Athlete, Rest, Perform, Heal, Rock Creek Park, Mind-Body Connection, Washington D.C.