Mental Health Referral for Student-Athletes: Web-Based Education and Training

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology

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Judy L. Van RaalteSpringfield College

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Allen E. CorneliusUniversity of the Rockies

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Staci AndrewsMonmouth University

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Nancy S. DiehlHong Kong International School

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Britton W. BrewerSpringfield College

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Physically and mentally healthy student-athletes are in a good position to thrive academically, socially, and athletically. Unfortunately, many student-athletes fail to get the mental health help they need due to factors such as lack of knowledge and mental health stigma. The purpose of this research was to create and evaluate a multimedia, interactive website (www.SupportForSport.org) to enable student-athletes to gain the necessary knowledge and confidence to make effective mental health referrals. Study 1 was conducted to determine if the website functioned as intended. In Study 2, 27 intercollegiate athletic directors and coaches evaluated the website. Their favorable evaluations led to Study 3, a controlled field trial with a national sample of 153 student-athletes. Results indicated that viewing the www.SupportForSport.org site resulted in enhanced mental health referral knowledge and efficacy relative to a control group. These results suggest that tailored online programming can affect outcomes for student-athletes across geographic regions and resource availability levels.

Judy L. Van Raalte and Britton W. Brewer are with the Department of Psychology, Springfield College, Springfield, MA. Staci Andrews is with the Department of Health and Physical Education, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ. Allen E. Cornelius is with the University of the Rockies, Denver, CO. Nancy S. Diehl is with the Hong Kong International School, Tai Tam/Repulse Bay, Hong Kong.

Address author correspondence to Judy L. Van Raalte at jvanraal@springfieldcollege.edu.
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