As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting student wellness, the Big East Conference has entered into a groundbreaking partnership with The Zone, a mental health platform aimed at supporting student-athletes.
"Everyone at the BIG EAST is thrilled to be partnering with The Zone to provide our student-athletes with an innovative and accessible mental wellness platform that will compliment the support they receive on campus. Mental wellness is a top priority for the BIG EAST and our member institutions. We look forward to seeing the impact our partnership with The Zone will have on the student-athlete experience" says Katie Willet the Sr. Associate Commissioner/SWA for student athlete development.
The Zone was founded by Ivan Tchatchouwo and Erik Poldroo, two former student-athletes whose journeys included mental health challenges. The Zone’s pioneering platform helps colleges and universities foster an environment where athletes feel comfortable to acknowledge that they may be struggling, whether it be with sports, academics or social pressures.The Zone makes it easy for students to seek help and guidance from campus professionals to assist them with strategies to thrive in the classroom, in their athletic pursuits and in life.
Using The Zone’s innovative digital health platform, Big East athletes will be prompted to share information about their moods and daily regimens while receiving curated suggestions on how they can maintain and improve their mental health and wellness. Although the use of the platform is voluntary, student-athletes will be encouraged to take advantage of the user-friendly experience and outstanding support The Zone offers.The Zone is already in the market with many schools. Schools working with the Zone have reported a positive shift in their respective wellness cultures on campus and find the ability to offer their student athletes personalized resources through the platform an integral part of their wellness programs.
“We’re extremely excited to be working with the Big East Conference and its member schools,” Tchatchouwo said of the partnership. “Since meeting the staff and athletes in July at the Big East student-athlete mental health summit, it was very apparent to us that they cared and wanted to really build safer environments for their student-athletes. We are happy to start this journey by arming student-athletes with mental wellness access in their pockets to tackle the struggles they face on a daily basis and keeping them in the optimal mental space.”
The Big East plans to onboard the program using a scaled approach. Marquette and Georgetown Universities will be the first two institutions to introduce the platform to its athletes. Julian Wright, a senior track and field athlete, is looking forward to using The Zone’s tools as a senior at Marquette: “I am excited for the Zone to be joining Marquette because it provides a space for student-athletes to take care of themselves outside of their sport. The Zone is a great tool that not only gives support, guidance, and knowledge to student-athletes but it also provides a platform for growth for our mental health that sports provide for our physical health. Having the tools, and teaching that can change every day depending on my mood, and receiving exercises to help me adjust to whatever I am feeling is something that is very beneficial. I can’t wait to start using the Zone and helping my mental health!.”
Other Big East schools will have the opportunity to add The Zone to their campus wellness programs as early as Summer 2023. The Zone delivers a seamless onboarding experience and provides full logistical and technical support to its collegiate partners to drive adoption and enable institutions to focus on what matters most, their student athletes.