Jim Harbaugh Worlds Hurst The Mental Health Community

One of the hardest parts of publicly advocating for MH, is you have to make the decision as to whether to call out comments/actions that halt or move progress backwards, even when those comments/actions come from an entity you’ve worked w in the past.


I tried to share some of what’s been discussed over the past 24+ hours, related to comments from U Mich’s Head Football Coach, Jim Harbaugh, on our Instagram.


University of Michigan has one of the most highly regarded MH programs in the country. The # of staff & the quality of staff is top notch. Going back many yrs, players like Tom Brady credit Michigan’s program & attitude towards MH (before it was ever a hot topic), for their own health/success. Our own organization, WAALC did a #SameHere Sit-Down in Ann Arbor.


Harbaugh on a talk show, made comments about players transferring & using MH as an excuse – given the NCAA’s transfer rules.


Does this happen?  Sure. Any time you can take action based on something that can’t be 100% proven, do ppl take advantage of the “system”? Yes. That said, it’s the exception, not the rule, & Harbaugh’s comments came out after word that one of his player’s attempted transfer for MH reasons. That player’s mom claims she tried to bring her son’s MH up w the coach & assistant & was shut down.


We don’t know what happened w the mom & coach 100%. But, we do know what happened w Harbaugh’s public words, & there is no denying they set back the movement of players being able to be open. Had he said something like: “MH is a very serious topic & we as coaches have to do everything to make sure our kids are healthy. That said, in the RARE cases a player may take advantage of the opportunity to transfer in a misleading way…” we’d have been better w his stance.


Bottom line, words matter. Michigan has an incredible MH program, & those efforts & the efforts of all who advocate for MH progress & change took a big hit w someone in such a big position using these words. Check out some of the negative comments in his defense on upcoming slides. A ways to go.






Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top