Baylor Athletics Announces Fundraising Effort Supporting Mental Health Initiatives
Gift from Jarred and Kay Nan Sloan launches fundraising for Athletics’ Mental Health program
WACO, Texas (Sept. 30, 2022) – Baylor University today announced the public launch of an effort to build philanthropic support focused on growing mental health services for Baylor’s student-athletes. The launch comes in tandem with a gift from Jarred and Kay Nan Sloan of Houston supporting Baylor Athletics and resourcing Athletics Mental Health Services (AMHS), which ensures access for Baylor’s student-athletes to mental health services.
The timing of the Sloans’ gift coincides with tomorrow’s Baylor Football game against Oklahoma State, which will feature content on AMHS in conjunction with the Big 12 Conference and College Football’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
“We are grateful to Jarred and Kay Nan Sloan for their sincere interest in supporting Baylor’s student-athletes in transformative ways and for their thoughtfulness in challenging others to come alongside them in this effort,” said Mack B. Rhoades IV, Baylor Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. “Baylor Athletics is committed to fostering a caring community, free of stigma, where our student-athletes’ mental health is given the same care as their physical wellbeing. We celebrate the generosity of the Sloans, and we hope other members of our Baylor Family will follow their lead in giving to the Baylor Student Athlete Mental Health Endowment.”
Jarred (B.B.A. ’61) and Kay Nan (B.A. ’62) Sloan’s gift to Baylor Athletics provides seed funding to establish the Student Athlete Mental Health Endowment, as well as immediate-use funds to provide critical, upfront support for the AMHS program. The Sloans have agreed to publicize their support to increase the Baylor Family’s awareness of the need for funding mental health services for student-athletes, as well as Baylor’s broader efforts through the Baylor University Counseling Center. Learn more here about how alumni, parents and friends can support and give to Baylor Athletics in this effort.
“When we were initially told about this need for mental health support for our student-athletes, it immediately struck a chord, and we had no second thoughts about giving,” said Jarred Sloan during a call about the Baylor Student Athlete Mental Health Endowment.
“If our gift encourages others to give, then we’ve done our job,” Kay Nan added. “Mental health is extremely important. Whether it gives students the support they need immediately or helps them learn how to address their mental health needs so that they feel that impact in the future, we feel strongly that it’s a great need that we are happy to help fulfill.”
For their support of the Athletics Mental Health Services, the Sloans chose to give immediate-use funds, providing administrators significant resources for the current needs of the program, as well as an endowment that creates a permanent source of annual funding for the program, the first such resource supporting mental health initiatives within Baylor Athletics. The fund was named the Student Athlete Mental Health Endowment to encourage the Baylor Family to give of their resources to help the more than 500 students who participate in Baylor Athletics’ 19 intercollegiate athletics teams.
“This gift has provided a launching point for others to contribute to resources directly supporting our student-athletes,” said Kenny Boyd, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Health and Wellness. “One of our current Athletics strategic initiatives is to reduce the stigma around seeking mental health care and enhance the resources the AMHS staff have to provide care.”
Baylor’s AMHS grew out of a partnership between Baylor Athletics and the Baylor University Counseling Center (BUCC), after BUCC identified student-athletes as a student population in need of accommodative access to counselors to better fit schedules which tended to conflict with traveling to campus for services between practices and classes. BUCC created the Let’s Talk program – staffing a counselor within the Simpson Athletics and Academic Center for a half day each week – to increase student-athlete access. As a result of student response and increased need to provide comprehensive mental health resources, Baylor Athletics created AMHS in 2018. Four years later, 45 percent of Baylor student-athletes use AMHS, representing an increase of 67% from the program’s first year.
AMHS provides crisis intervention support, with an average of 28 mental health crises per year. The program also has implemented the following services and programs to support student-athletes’ mental health:
- Counseling services, with flexible hours to create availability around practice times and team meetings
- Case management
- Crisis intervention
- Team Talks, a mental health education curriculum
- Mental health screenings three times per semester for all student-athletes
- Mandatory appointments with mental health professionals for athletes who experience injuries with more than a four-week recovery time
- A Compliant Recovery Program for students struggling with addiction
AMHS also provides mandatory mental health education sessions to coaches and staff every summer. With the Sloans’ gift, AMHS will begin the next phase of growth, transitioning to a focus on a preventive care model that focuses on education and early intervention to decrease the presentation of mental illness and crisis. Elevations to existing programming and new initiatives to come from this, depending upon additional funding support, may include peer-to-peer education, suicide prevention training for all student-athletes, testimonial guest speakers and increased mental health screening, as well as staff education that promotes mental health and actively reduces stigma.
“For the same reasons we have medical, nutrition and academic services in the building, at the athlete’s fingertips, it’s imperative that mental health services be as easily accessible,” said Monique Marsh-Bell, Psy.D., Associate Athletic Director for Mental Health Services. “Resources we provide to athletes says something to them about what we believe to be valuable and needed for their success. Having Athletics Mental Health Services tells our athletes that their mental health is important and gives them the green light to utilize the services we have made available to them. It also allows the AMHS team to build the trust needed to do our best work. It’s difficult to talk to a stranger about the things that are challenging you or things you might have never discussed with anyone before. When you see someone every day, become familiar with them, develop a relationship with them, opening up emotionally becomes much easier.”
The AMHS approach to support stems from a robust approach to mental health services provided through the Baylor University Counseling Center (BUCC), which is staffed by 18 full-time clinicians, as well as doctoral interns and other support staff. During the 2021-2022 academic year, the BUCC provided services to more than 3,100 students, or approximately 15% of the University’s total student population.
In addition to the services mentioned above, BUCC and the Health Center have partnered with Academic Live Care to provide free and unlimited virtual urgent care, psychiatry and nutrition services and free and unlimited counseling, both in-person and through telehealth for all Baylor students. BUCC also is very active on campus, providing more than 125 educational outreach programs each year. The BUCC continues to coordinate with AMHS, providing expertise and resourcing as needed for student-athletes. Learn more about BUCC and their services on the BUCC website.
A legacy of caring
Jarred and Kay Nan Sloan’s gift carries on a family legacy of caring for the needs of others, from Kay Nan’s great-grandfather, father and brother who were all medical doctors, to Jarred’s long tenure with a medical research foundation.
Jarred Sloan is the President and a Trustee with Clayton Foundation for Research, a nonprofit medical research organization that conducts medical research for the purpose of discovering the cause, prevention and cure of diseases to be used by the public. Prior to his years with Clayton Foundation for Research, he was a partner with KPMG.
Kay Nan Wilkerson Sloan previously served as a speech therapist within the Houston Independent School District. She earned a bachelor of arts from Baylor in 1962 in speech and hearing therapy and education. Jarred and Kay Nan met at the end of Jarred's junior year and Kay Nan's sophomore year at Baylor. They were married in June of 1962 after Kay Nan graduated.
Jarred and Kay Nan have one daughter, Janna Kay Holiday (B.S.Ed. ’87), and one son, Jason. Jason Sloan attended Baylor, starting a degree in computer information systems. Janna Kay Holiday and her husband, Kurt (B.S. ’84), are missionaries with the International Mission Board and have been serving in Johannesburg, South Africa, since 2000. Janna Kay and Kurt have two children, Ruth Anne (B.A. '15) and Josh.
The Sloans’ gift to Baylor Athletics is an example of the impact alumni, parents and friends are having through the Give Light Campaign, Baylor’s comprehensive fundraising campaign which has seen the Baylor Family give more than $1.23 billion to support Illuminate, the University’s strategic plan.
Baylor publicly launched the Give Light campaign on Nov. 1, 2018. To date, Baylor Athletics, Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor Law School, Baylor Libraries, Baylor School of Music and Hankamer School of Business have surpassed their initial goals established at the start of the Give Light Campaign. The Campaign has seen 86,402 alumni, parents and friends give to the University’s priorities, as well as establishing 718 endowed scholarships and 41 endowed faculty positions. For more information or to support Give Light: The Campaign for Baylor, visit www.baylor.edu/givelight.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.