Through the sharing of her personal experience and educational background, Erika takes us through the full spectrum of what being a professional athlete entails, bringing a strong voice to the conversation on mental health. She looks to challenge the status quo and advocates for supports to aid in the mental health journey throughout a professional athlete’s career cycle and beyond.
About Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson
Erika graduated from the University of British Columbia with a B.A. majoring in Psychology. While attending her undergraduate degree, Erika also trained and competed full-time for Swimming Canada from 2013-2019, which included representing Team Canada at 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
A year before the Olympics, Erika had an experience with mental illness that almost resulted in her early retirement from sport. Her desire to educate and bring awareness to the sporting community about mental illness in elite athletes was the catalyst for her becoming a mental health advocate. Since then, Erika co-started and co-lead the Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative at UBC for 2 years, coached and lead seminars for young swimmers, and volunteered as social support for elderly individuals with mental illnesses. She also worked as a Research Assistant for over a year at the Work Wellness Institute. These experiences reinforced her passion for working in this field, ultimately leading her to pursue a career in the research and betterment of mental health in the workplace.
Erika is currently in the United Kingdom doing her Master’s degree in Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health at Edge Hill University, where she’s learning how to create systematic and cultural change around athlete and coach mental health at both community and elite levels.