(Mercedes Oliver/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Athletes in women’s sports reported more mental health concerns than their peers in men’s sports, according to an NCAA survey.

The survey, which was conducted in late 2021, showed elevated rates of mental exhaustion, anxiety and depression among athletes across the board compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The study follows up on two surveys conducted in the fall of 2020 and is based on responses from more than 9,800 student-athletes across all three divisions of NCAA sports.

Results showed marked gender disparities:

  • 47 percent of women reported feeling overwhelmed by all they have to do either “constantly” or “most every day,” compared to 25 percent of men.
  • 38 percent of women reported feeling mentally exhausted at a high frequency compared to 22 percent of men.
  • 29 percent of women reported feeling overwhelming anxiety at a high frequency compared to 12 percent of men.
  • Katie, Sarah, Lauren, Jayden

Since March 1, at least five NCAA athletes have died by suicide, four of them women, leading to greater discussion of how athletes handle the stresses of elite sports while also juggling academics, plans for the future and a social life.

According to the survey, 65 percent of women athletes agreed or strongly agreed that they take their teammates’ mental health concerns seriously, while 56 percent said that they know how to help their teammates.