Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2018

Degree Name

MSEd in Physical Education

Department

Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education

First Advisor

Dr. Susan Petersen

Abstract

Mental health is a vital part of the success of student-athletes, but in a ten-year time frame, 477 athletes died from suicide (Velasco, 2017). The purpose of this synthesis was to determine which mental health issues are most prevalent among college athletes, how they handle them and what colleges and universities are doing to help.

The studies that were selected for this synthesis were found using the EBSCOHOST database. All literature had to be peer-reviewed to be considered, along with containing the key words mental health and collegiate/college athlete. There were a total of ten articles considered in the critical mass. All articles were coded into an article grid and then separated into different categories such as purpose, methods & procedures, analysis and findings.

The findings from these articles conclude that college athletes do suffer from mental health issues, with the most prevalent being depression (Wolanin et al., 2016). It was determined that there is a stigma that surrounds mental health, which leaves athletes reluctant to seek help (Sudano et al., 2017). Practices for implementing mental health screenings along with the best practices for treatment were discussed. Pre-participation screenings of each athlete for each academic year are recommended to recognize the symptoms of mental health issues early so that treatment can begin immediately (Kroshus, 2016).

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