PBATS, Major League Baseball and the U.S. Department of Labor team up to educate about mental health awareness
ATLANTA (May 9, 2023) — The Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) is proud to announce the launch of a mental health awareness public service announcement (PSA) campaign. Developed in collaboration with Major League Baseball (MLB) and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), the campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and provide resources to those in need, whether they work in baseball or any type of workplace.
The new PSA — an outcome of PBATS’ Alliance with ODEP — features Cleveland Guardians’ assistant athletic trainer Jeff Desjardins, who shares insight into mental health education and encourages viewers to seek help when needed. The PSA also provides a list of resources centered around ODEP’s four-part framework for organizations referred to as the “4 A’s of a Mental Health-Friendly Workplace” — awareness, accommodations, assistance and access to treatment.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately one in five adults in the U.S. experiences some form of mental health condition each year. PBATS recognizes the importance of addressing mental health in the workplace and hopes this PSA will help reduce stigma and encourage businesses to take steps to support worker mental health.
“We know that mental health is a critical issue that affects many people, in the baseball community and all communities,” said Ron Porterfield, PBATS President. “As athletic trainers and sports medicine professionals, we have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those we serve. This campaign is just one way that we can help raise awareness and provide resources about this very important issue to a wide range of businesses and individuals, and we appreciate the opportunity to partner with ODEP on it.”
“At the Department of Labor, we want all workers to feel supported, wherever they work—whether it’s a stadium, office, factory or any other environment,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams. “This is a goal we share with PBATS, and we’re pleased to partner with them to shine a light on this important issue and educate America’s employers about best practices for meeting employees’ mental health needs.”
“MLB proudly supports PBATS and the work they are doing to highlight the importance of mental health. MLB athletes face unique and varied demands, and PBATS members have always provided excellent, holistic care essential to the minds and bodies of our players,” said Jon Coyles, MLB’s Vice President of Drug, Health and Safety. “Education, awareness and de-stigmatizing mental health treatment are foundational to fostering a safe and productive environment for our athletes, and PBATS does an excellent job of making this a priority for players and fans alike.”
PBATS encourages everyone to watch and share the PSA, which is being distributed via its website and social media channels. To view the full PSA and additional resources on mental health awareness and education, visit pbats.com/programs/mental-health-awareness.
The Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) is an organization dedicated to the advancement, education and certification of the athletic training profession. PBATS serves as the medical services resource to Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs. PBATS provides educational opportunities and professional development to its members to ensure the highest quality of health care for the baseball community.