Mental health talk targets the coaches to lead by example

Staff report

Staff report

TOLEDO — Coaching legend Lou Holtz will join ProMedica Foundations on March 18 to address the mental health epidemic that affects hundreds of thousands of individuals in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

Critical ConneXions will be from 9 a.m. to noon, in the Huntington Center, 500 Jefferson Ave., Toledo.

Critical ConneXions master of ceremonies will be motivational speaker and author Dr. Clint Longenecker of the University of Toledo and feature presentations from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Harbor Behavioral Health. Former college football coach and sports analyst Lou Holtz will offer a keynote address on the importance of coaches’ leading by example through taking time to care for their own mental health and maintaining positive life balance.

“The goal of the program is to provide potentially life-saving tools and techniques coaches need to recognize the warning signs associated with mental health issues in children and teens,” said Stacy Harper, ProMedica Foundations executive director. “But it’s also important to recognize that in order to best care for others, we sometimes need to take a time-out to care for ourselves.”

ProMedica Foundations is working to shine a spotlight on mental health concerns and is hosting Critical ConneXions, an educational program for coaches, religious youth group leaders and other individuals who lead clubs and organizations for children and teens.

“Coaches and youth leaders have a unique relationship with young people and can often reach them on a different level than their parents or teachers,” said Harper. “They play a key role in supporting the physical, emotional and social needs of the youth in our communities, and it’s important they have the skills to identify when a child might be struggling.”

While coaches and youth leaders are strongly encouraged to attend, the event is open to anyone with an interest in supporting youth mental health awareness in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Tickets are $10 and may be ordered online at

Staff report