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This study sought to determine whether completion of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s “Supporting Student-Athlete Mental Wellness” online module for coaches increased mental health literacy, reduced stigma, and increased intentions to: 1) communicate proactively with team members about the importance of mental health care seeking, and 2) respond appropriately to support an athlete believed to be struggling with a mental health issue. College head coaches completed pre-test surveys (n = 969) and immediate post-test surveys (n = 347, completion rate = 36%). Module completion was associated with increased mental health literacy, decreased stigma about help seeking and increased intentions to engage in culture setting communication. These findings suggest that the online module is a good start for coach education about mental health; however, additional modifications may be warranted to the extent coach referral to sports medicine staff or provision of emotional support to student-athletes struggling with mental health concerns are considered desired behaviors.
Kroshus is with the Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; and the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Seattle, WA. Wagner and Hainline are with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, IN. Wyrick is with the Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC.