© 2023 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Athletes are changing the game, and the stigma, around mental health

Children play a flag football game during halftime of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Arlington, Texas.
Ron Jenkins
Children play a flag football game during halftime of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Arlington, Texas.

This hour on Disrupted, we explore sports and mental health. The Fall sport season has begun. For some families, this will be their child’s first experience in competition. For others, their student athlete will continue competing in high school or college sports. As the competition level increases, the performance, academic and even social expectations can impact an athlete’s physical and mental health.

Clinical Psychologist Dr. Ralph Dodd will discuss how the role of a sports psychologist has changed. It used to focus only on an athlete’s physical performance.

Tess Atkinson, who played soccer at CCSU, shares her experience with the stress of athletics.

Then we'll hear from two people who are providing mental health support. Bella Nadeau, a softball player in her senior year at UMass Boston, created a non-profit called Lets Get Real About Athlete Mental Health. Former college basketball player and entrepreneur Ivan Tchatchouwo talks about The Zone mobile app he helped create that evaluates and provides mental wellness for student-athletes.


  • Dr. Ralph Dodd: Clinical Psychologist practicing out of West Hartford.
  • Tess Atkinson: Former Central Connecticut State University soccer player.
  • Bella Nadeau: Senior softball player at UMass Boston and creator of non-profit website Lets Get Real About Athlete Mental Health.
  • Ivan Tchatchouwo: Former college basketball player and CEO of The Zone mobile app.

Disrupted is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode.

Wayne Edwards is a freelance producer at Connecticut Public contributing to multi-platform productions, including ‘Disrupted’, ‘Where Art Thou?’, and ‘Cutline in the Community’.<br/><br/>
Kevin Chang Barnum is a producer for Connecticut Public Radio’s weekly show Disrupted. Kevin grew up in Connecticut and started his radio work at his graduate university’s radio station, KUCI. He has also worked for HRN, a network of food and beverage podcasts.
Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean is an award-winning scholar at Quinnipiac University, author, and host of 'Disrupted' on Connecticut Public.
Meg Dalton is the deputy director of storytelling for Connecticut Public. She previously worked for The Takeaway from WNYC, in collaboration with GBH and PRX, and Mobituaries with Mo Rocca. She's also reported and edited for the Columbia Journalism Review, PBS NewsHour, Slate, MediaShift, Hearst Connecticut newspapers, and more. Her audio work has appeared on ‎WNYC, WSHU, Marketplace, WBAI, and NPR. She earned her master's degree from Columbia Journalism School in 2017, where she specialized in audio storytelling and narrative writing, and has taught audio storytelling at Columbia Journalism School, UnionDocs, and public libraries.
Catie Talarski is Senior Director of Storytelling and Radio Programming at Connecticut Public.