As the most decorated gymnast in the world, Simone Biles, recently showed us that even on a world stage as big as the Olympics, athletes struggle with mental health too. That, of course, sparked conversations and shed light on the physical and psychological needs of athletes of all ages.

Turns out, the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has actually partnered with a mental health training module and program known as "be nice." to help give coaches and athletes even more resources.

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How "be nice." Started

To fully understand the program's roots, we have to go all the way back to 1990!

In a timeline featured on the "be nice." website's "about" section, in 1990 the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan was founded "with the mission to create communities that have good mental health by inspiring people to recognize, understand, accept and take action."

Over the years, that mission has transformed and expanded. In 2005, the Foundation found itself in schools with their "Live Laugh Love" program that taught adolescents how to recognize signs of anxiety, depression, etc. while also talking to them about bullying and more.

In 2011, "be nice." was launched with goals of educating communities on mental health.

From there, the program has found success in workplaces, faith-based organizations, and more...now including middle and high school sports!

MHSAA & be nice. Training

According to the "be nice." website's section specifically for the Michigan High School Athletic Association, their module has been chosen as the "official" mental health training for schools around Michigan this year.

"That means 30,000 middle and high school coaches throughout the state will complete a 15-minute training explaining each step of the be nice. Action Plan - to notice, invite, challenge, and empower," they said. 

According to WILX, this will be training that every coach has to undergo, though they did talk to some coaches that can attest to the value mental health training like this provides.

All in all, according to WILX, this training will give coaches and schools the proper tools to be able to identify when a student athlete is struggling and be able to help them through it.

CLICK HERE to get your team (doesn't have to just be athletics) all signed up or to learn more about what be nice. is all about.

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