Kevin Warren, Big Ten commissioner, addresses the media March 12 in Indianapolis following the cancellation of the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

The Big Ten Conference announced the formation of the Big Ten Mental Health and Wellness Cabinet Monday, which will seek to establish mental health programs for conference members and provide counsel for the Big Ten office, according to a statement from the conference. 

The cabinet will include two representatives from the 14 Big Ten institutions along with Johns Hopkins and Notre Dame. Ohio State representatives in the cabinet are university sports psychologists Chelsi Day and James Houle, the statement reads.

“This is a complex and stressful time in our society and the mental health and wellness of our Big Ten family is a critical component of our focus,” Kevin Warren, Big Ten commissioner, said in the statement. 

The conference also shared that Big Ten student-athletes, coaches and members of university athletic departments would receive free, unlimited access to the mental wellness app Calm, according to the statement.

“I think the work the Big Ten Conference is doing with regard to mental health initiatives is incredibly important,” Ohio State football head coach Ryan Day said in the statement. “Forming a Mental Health and Wellness Cabinet is a reflection of the conference’s leadership, engagement and support for mental health initiatives. These efforts will bring much-needed attention and awareness to the subject of mental health.” 

No specific date was given for the implementation of the cabinet, but the cabinet will be used beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the statement.