The brave and extremely talented American tennis player Frances Tiafoe serves ace for mental health and HBCU Tennis programs. BetterHelp announced a $3 million partnership with Tiafoe, Venus Williams and Taylor to provide free mental health therapy to recipients in need.
“Mental health has been neglected for many years,” Francis told HBCU Legends. “I wanted to help, and when the opportunity for a partnership came up, I didn’t want it to happen. It will help so many people.”
“19.86% of adults suffer from mental illness. Equivalent to nearly 50 million Americans. 4.91% have severe mental illness. The prevalence of mental illness in adults ranges from 16.37% in New Jersey to 26.86% in Utah.” Mental Health America
Mental stress has affected even the most competitive athletes in recent years. From Simone Biles to Naomi Osaka, prominent sports celebrities have been forced to take mental health breaks away from sports to focus on their wellbeing.
BetterHelp for better mental health
Francis, 24, knows the stress and pressure of being a rising star in professional tennis. He is currently ranked No. 19 in the world and sits behind his BetterHelp partner and No. 11 Taylor Fritz as the men most likely to win a major singles championship for America. In September, Francis came very close to reaching the semifinals of the 2022 US Open, where he lost to tournament champion Carlos Alcaraz.
The tennis phenom’s partnership with BetterHelp alleviates a significant problem – cost. “I’m a big advocate for mental health care, but it can be quite expensive. A lot of people struggle, men and women.” Francis believes the BetterHelp site and questionnaire will make patients comfortable knowing they can safely and securely care for their conditions.
Frances’ HBCU connection
During his youth, tennis resources were not abundant for Francis and his twin brother, Franklin, although his father was the head of maintenance at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland. At five, his Sierra Leonean immigrant father, Constant Tiafoe, found ways to introduce his sons to the sport. Most HBCUs have a similar challenge, access to financial sponsorship and resources for their tennis players.
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“I believe HBCUs have so much talent out there, right,” Francis noted. “But obviously putting the money into HBCUs will help. They just need structure to improve their skills and abilities. We need to put them on a level playing field where it makes sense.”
The HBCU National Tennis Championships were held in Atlanta, Georgia at the South Fulton Tennis Center on September 15-18. The Alabama State University men won the 2022 Men’s National Championship and the Xavier University of Louisiana women won the 2022 Women’s National Championship trophy.
The other 2022 HBCU national champions are as follows:
- Men’s Singles A Champion – Jonas Dziopak (TSU)
- Men’s B Individual Champion – David Jean-Grandino (ASU)
- Champion Men’s C Individual – Nereo Suarez (XULA)
- Men’s A Doubles Champions – Jacoby Bein / Vander Woody (XULA)
- B Doubles Champions – David Jean-Grandio / Mathis Amer (ASU)
- Women’s Singles Champion – Jasmine Boyd (AAMU)
- Women’s B Singles Champion – REBUV; Unfinished FAMU vs. ASU
- Women’s Individual C Champion – Alejandra Hidalgo
- A Women’s Doubles Champions – Veronica Rodriguez / Andrea Quiros
- Women’s B Doubles Champs – Tiana Dixon / McKenna Whitley (XULA)
Frances concluded, “Working with BetterHelp has been great. I hope that people can find value in their lives and maintain a balanced mental health.”
“It’s easy to neglect our mental well-being when we’re caught up in our daily lives,” says Alon Matas, president and founder of BetterHelp. “We’re excited to work with these amazing players to remind people to take care of themselves while providing free resources to do so.”
To learn more about BetterHelp’s mental health services and the opportunity to receive one month of free BetterHelp therapy, please visit www.betterhelp.com/tennis.
World Mental Health Day will be held on October 10, 2022.
BetterHelp is the world’s largest therapy platform with over 26,000 therapists facilitating over 5,000,000 video sessions, voice calls, chats and messages every month. We are on a mission to ensure that everyone has easy, affordable, safe and private access to high-quality therapy. Since 2013, our licensed, accredited and certified therapists have helped more than 2,000,000 people face life’s challenges and improve their mental health.
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