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USA Gymnastics expands mental health services for athletes

gymnast flips in air above a balance beam.
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USA Gymnastics is expanding its mental health coverage for athletes and coaches under a new program unveiled on Monday.

The organization will help cover eight visits a year to mental health providers for eligible national team members across all disciplines and four visits to mental health providers for eligible coaches under the new program.

“Being able to fund services that athletes and their coaches can receive in their hometowns, by their preferred providers, is essential for wellbeing and something we have always wanted to do,” USA Gymnastics president Li Li Leung said in a statement.

USA Gymnastics will reimburse athletes/coaches up to $125 per visit. Coaches and athletes may use whatever health care provider they would like if the provider has “appropriate training and licensure in sport psychology or mental health.”

The program will be funded in part by the organization’s agreement with GK Elite, which provides training and competition apparel for USA Gymnastics. A portion of the sponsorship deal with GK Elite is earmarked specifically to cover the mental health care costs.

Under the previous model, athletes and coaches had access to mental health specialists while attending USA Gymnastics events such as training camps and meets. The new model expands that access so athletes and coaches are covered financially when they return to their home gyms.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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