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About Head in the Game

Three young people of different races embracing and huddled together. They are smiling. There is an orange outline around the picture.

Youth mental wellbeing faces crisis levels, particularly among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) teens who often lack support.

“Head in the Game” is a Beyond Sport program powered by Z Zurich Foundation and in collaboration with Zurich North America, leveraging sports – community, collegiate and professional – to assist 13 to 19-year-olds in mental health.

The initiative includes grants, youth coach training, a multimedia awareness campaign, and a learning community to foster collaboration, share insights, and continuously improve collective efforts to support teen mental health.

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A line illustration in red of a group with their hands together. There is a green and orange shape over the top of two peoples heads to bring to life the topic of mental health.

Teen mental health is at crisis levels

Social inequities are intensifying mental struggles for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ teens.

Black and Brown teens are accessing half the mental care of white peers. Girls are facing more challenges than boys. Suicide rates for Black teens increased 144% from 2007-10. 41% of LGBTQ+ teens considered suicide in the past year, with trans and nonbinary rates even higher.

We’re zeroing in on four specific states: California, Illinois, Minnesota and New York. Why? Because in these states, communities of color and LGBTQ+ city populations have surged in the past decade, according to U.S. Census data. Yet, youth mental wellbeing resources haven’t kept pace with their growing needs.

A young black girl with her back to the camera sitting down. She is in front of a sports net with her fingers interlocked with the net. She has a headband with a nike tick on it.

Head in the Game aims to positively impact the mental wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of teens.

  • Destigmatizing Mental Health: Community initiatives, a multimedia campaign, and resources for open conversations and resilience building.
  • Support for Vulnerable Communities: Prioritizing BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and girls, often the most impacted and underserved.
  • Engaging the Sports Sector: Bridging community, collegiate, and pro levels for a unified approach on youth mental health.
  • Coach Training for Change: Over 2,000 coaches trained in mental wellbeing to recognize and address youth challenges.

How Head in the Game can help

A red outline illustration of trophy. There is a blue shape in the background. Funding sports organizations in CA, IL, MN, NY to support youth mental health.
A red outline illustration of a megaphone. There is a blue shape in the background. Training over 2,000+ coaches in trauma-informed preventative youth mental health care.
A red outline illustration of two speech bubbles. There is a blue shape in the background. Establishing a community for discussing challenges and solutions at both community and state levels.
A red outline illustration of a sports trainer. There is a blue shape in the background. Uniting the sports sector, from grassroots to pro, to enhance teen mental health outcomes.
Providing free online learning resources and mental health tools.

Our Collaborators

Meet our Head In The Game Collaborators who are championing mental health through their stories of resilience and hope. From professional athletes, sports organizations and beyond, they are pushing the boundaries of mental wellbeing, to support youth and adults to speak up and put their mental health first.

Meet our Head in the Game Network

These 43 organizations, including grantees and expert providers will be delivering coach training and are being equipped with funds and capacity-building tools to enhance mental health support for more teens. And we have many other organizations who are supporters of our work.

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