Student-Athlete Mental Health and Performance

Student-Athlete Mental Health and Performance


To provide comprehensive performance psychology and mental wellness services that support the holistic development of varsity student-athletes and teams through optimizing performance, mental/emotional thriving, and promoting mental health to foster belonging and growth. We aim to contribute to an inclusive Vanderbilt Athletics where student-athletes can invest in mental wellness.


We are a team of licensed mental health professionals who bring diverse experiences, identities, and training to our work with student athletes and Vanderbilt Athletics. We utilize an integrated, multidisciplinary approach, partnering with colleagues at the UCC, VUMC Sports Medicine, and Sport Performance departments.

Julie Sutcliffe, PsyD, LP/HSP, CMPC
Assistant Athletic Director, Sport Psychology & Mental Performance
Licensed Psychologist & Certified Mental Performance Consultant
McGugin Center 116A

Marlon Bailey, PhD, LCSW/LP/HSP
Athletics Psychologist
Licensed Clinical Social Worker & Licensed Psychologist
McGugin Center 117B

Tess Kilwein, PhD, LP/HSP, ABPP, CMPC
Sport Psychologist
Licensed Board-Certified Psychologist & Certified Mental Performance Consultant
McGugin Center 117A


Individual Sport Psychology, Counseling and Mental Health Services

  • Performance Optimization (e.g. Performance anxiety, Goal attainment, Confidence, Imagery, Energy Regulation, Mindfulness training, etc.)
  • Life, Sport, or Performance Challenges (e.g. stress management, injury, adjustment to college, transition out of sport, coach/teammate concerns, relationship concerns, sleep, etc.)
  • Mental Health Concerns (e.g. mood concerns, anxiety, depression, disordered eating, including need for specialized referrals for sleep concerns, psychotropic medication, ADHD/learning differences, substance use)

*Medication Management and other specialty counseling services are provided to student-athletes through the Vanderbilt UCC. Vanderbilt Sport Psychology clinicians will assist student-athletes with connecting to these services.

Confidentiality: All individual work with a sport psychology team member is confidential. Information discussed will not be shared with coaches, media, family members, etc.  without your permission or in instances where disclosure is required by law. However, many student-athletes find it helpful to give permission to their sport psychology or mental health provider to share information with their athletic trainers or other athletics staff that may help improve performance, well-being, or the student-athlete’s relationship with others.

Team Services: Sport Psychology staff members may provide team services on a team-by-team basis. This may include group mental performance skills (e.g. pre-performance routines, goal setting, self-talk, etc.), mindfulness training, teambuilding/team cohesion, goal setting, leadership, and culture building.

Consultation: We provide consultation to coaches and staff to support a health-promoting and inclusive environment.

Outreach and Targeted Programming: Sport Psychology staff members may assist in athletic department and campus efforts to provide education and programming on various topics (e.g. mental health in athletes, body image and eating concerns, psychological response to injury, transition out of sport, adjustment to college sport, etc.)

Making an Appointment
1. Contact a Sport Psychology team member directly. Include days/times you are available.

Julie Sutcliffe, Assistant Athletic Director, Sport Psychology & Mental Performance 615.343.2859

Marlon Bailey, Athletics Psychologist 615.322.5060

Tess Kilwein, Sport Psychologist 615.343.9764

2. Utilize the UCC Student Portal ( and schedule an appointment with a Sport Psychology or UCC provider.

3. Talk to an athletic trainer, team physician, or athletic staff member to help connect to sport psychology.

4. Walk over/drop-in to at a Sport Psychology team member’s office (McGugin 130K or 117A/B). If our door is closed, please send an email message, or call the 615.322.2571 (UCC) to schedule.

Mental Health Crisis Resources

If you (or a fellow student-athlete) are experiencing a mental health emergency and are in immediate danger to themselves or others, or acting out of control, actively seek help by:

1. Calling VUPD 615-421-1911 or call 911

2. Vanderbilt Crisis Resources:

  • Vanderbilt UCC – Daytime & After Hours Crisis Support 615-322-2571, option #2
  • Crisis Text Line (24/7) Text VANDY to 741741
  • Vanderbilt Urgent Care Counseling Services (M-F 10am-4pm) UCC Urgent Care Counseling

3. Contacting your athletic trainer and/or a Sport Psychology team member

4. National Crisis Resources