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Child Psychiatrist /Adult Psychiatrist

American Board of Sports & Performance Psychiatry Speaks at APA


There has been an increasingly crucial role of mental health in the world of sports, with more athletes and teams recognizing the importance of addressing mental health concerns. Sports and performance psychiatry is a subspecialty of psychiatry with a rapidly increasing presence and prevalence. This subspecialty focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental health diagnoses in athletes, coaches, and sports teams.

American Board of Sports

Up until last year, there was no formal credentialing body in the United States to certify psychiatrists practicing in this subspecialty. In 2023, the American Board of Sports & Performance Psychiatry (ABSPP) was formed by 7 board-certified psychiatrists: Brook Choulet, MD; Mark Allen, MD; Thomas Horn, DO; Ankur Desai, MD; Amanda Klass, DO; Rolando Gonzalez, MD; and Tia Konzer, DO.

ABSPP’s mission is to empower and credential sports and performance psychiatrists who demonstrate excellence in the comprehensive care of athletes and performers, fostering mental well-being and optimal performance. Through the certification of board-certified sports and performance psychiatrists, ABSPP aims to enhance the mental health and well-being of athletes, performers, executives, and individuals striving for peak performance in their personal and professional lives.

Five of the 7 board members held a session at the 2024 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting this year on Saturday, May 4th, titled “Sports Psychiatry: An Overview from the American Board of Sports & Performance Psychiatry.” This was held as a Coffee & Conversations session, where thought leaders in their respective fields present for 30 minutes.

Sports psychiatry has been an increasingly popular topic and the session truly exemplified this. With over 100 individuals in attendance, the excitement in the session was palpable. There were several questions surrounding how to get involved in the field as well as interest from early career psychiatrists. David R. McDuff, MD, an advisor to the ABSPP and cochair of the Mentorship Committee, was in attendance as well.

The ABSPP provided a high-level overview on the 3 pathways towards board-certification, which include an experienced sports psychiatrist pathway, a sports psychiatry diploma or certificate pathway, and a general psychiatrist board-certification pathway.

During the presentation, the board of directors also provided additional information on some key aspects of sports psychiatry. Some of these key aspects include a focus on mental health treatment, performance optimization, psychological impact of injury and rehabilitation, stress management, team dynamics, and support during career transitions and retirement.

Overall, sports psychiatry aims to promote mental wellness, resilience, and performance excellence in athletes, coaches, and sports organizations. It recognizes the integral relationship between mental health and athletic success, emphasizing the importance of holistic care to achieve peak performance.

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