Understanding the stress and anxiety that playing on the national stage can bring upon children, especially as we continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, Little League® International has teamed up with DotCom Therapy and UPMC in North Central Pa. to provide all its participants at the 2021 Little League Baseball and Softball Region and World Series events with access to mental health and emotional well-being support.
“As our players and volunteers advance throughout the Little League International Tournament, and compete in our Region and World Series events, we knew that it was more important than ever to ensure the necessary resources are available to promote not only strong physical health, but equally important, mental and emotional health, as well,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “On behalf of Little League International, we are thankful to the professional staff at both UPMC in North Central Pa. and DotCom Therapy for committing their help and expertise to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all our participants and provide this important support for our players and coaches.”
Throughout the Little League Baseball and Softball Region Tournaments, as well as the Little League Softball® World Series in Greenville, North Carolina, all participants were provided with access to DotCom Therapy’s network of professional, licensed therapists for social, emotional, and mental health therapy. In addition to live, one-on-one teletherapy sessions that are available at no charge to all players, Little League International and DotCom Therapy also provided a variety of professionally-developed and curated resources for both coaches and parents/guardians that are available on LittleLeague.org.
“There are so many benefits that youth sports bring to children – the social aspects, camaraderie, and learning how to win and lose are all important life lessons that add to the fun. But sports can have a stressful component too, and especially if professional athletes are being honest and vocal about this, we can’t ignore the fact that some children might need help too,” said Rachel Robinson, founder and president at DotCom Therapy. “The work Little League International has been doing with UPMC, and the time we’ve spent putting together their teletherapy program shows they’ve had a longstanding commitment to player health and safety. For such a large organization with deep roots across the country, the reach we can provide through teletherapy makes for a great partnership that we know will have a positive impact for players, coaches, and families.”
During the Little League Baseball® World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, all of the participants will have access to both telehealth and in-person therapy options through the support of UPMC in North Central Pa. The partnership with UPMC provides players and staff access to counseling services via Telemedicine or in-person during the series, as well as educational materials and support for staff and parents. In addition to their mental health services being offered this year, UPMC also provides physical health support for all LLBWS participants both on and off the field, including fully staffing the newly opened UPMC Player Wellness Center inside the Dr. Creighton J. Hale International Grove on the Little League International Complex.
“These young athletes and their coaches and family members are traveling from around the world to compete on the biggest stage for their sport which is very demanding, both physically and mentally,” said Stacie Moore, director, Clinical Care Services, Behavioral Health, UPMC in North Central Pa. “We’ve partnered with Little League International for many years to support the physical health of everyone involved in the World Series, and we’re proud to now expand our mental health services, ensuring everyone has access to quality care for all their health needs through UPMC.”
About DotCom Therapy
DotCom Therapy is the most comprehensive pediatric teletherapy provider for healthcare and educational organizations serving families across the nation. With a 5-star patient rating and 97% retention among its network of professional therapists, DCT provides the flexibility families and organizations require to meet the mental health, behavioral, speech, and occupational therapy needs of children in their care. DCT is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, with team members and therapists located across the United States. For more information, follow DotCom Therapy on Twitter (@DotComTherapy) or LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/dotcom-therapy), or visit www.DotComTherapy.com.
A $23 billion health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates 92,000 employees, 40 hospitals, 800 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a more than 4 million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania. In the most recent fiscal year, UPMC contributed $1.7 billion in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution, and paid more than $900 million in federal, state, and local taxes. Working in close collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC shares its clinical, managerial and technological skills worldwide through its innovation and commercialization arm, UPMC Enterprises, and through UPMC International. U.S. News consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside among the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. For more information, go to UPMC.com.