Minimizing Mental Healthcare Barriers in Division I Sports Medicine Programs

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Leadership for Organizations


Department of Educational Administration


Corinne Brion


The concern of one's emotional, psychological, and social well-being has been an overlooked dimension within our society, with one out of every five adult individuals, experiencing a mental health related illness each year. Of that population, young adults, who range from eighteen to twenty-five, have been documented as the highest risk of illness. One environment that has emerged with a heightened level of mental health concern, has fallen within the landscape of collegiate athletics. In this study, the author conducted a collaborative action research study, using an exploratory mixed methods design to explore the implementation practices of the recommendations of the NCAA driven health task force's mental health related strategies into the identified individual institution's mental health policies and procedures. The author used The Funds of Knowledge and Ethics of Care to develop the investigative foundation and examine a pathway towards promotion of a uniform mental healthcare plan. In this study, eight licensed athletic trainers and four collegiate women's volleyball student-athletes, participated in quantitative surveys and semi-structured interviews. Utilizing a multi-step approach, the author examined identified barriers for collegiate student-athletes towards not using psychological resources throughout their collegiate careers. Results from the quantitative findings described through descriptive statistical analysis, while coding from the qualitative data identified multiple themes,including identified institutional and individual barriers that steered the development of a complementary action plan. Additional related sub themes were also identified and explored in this study. In the final chapter of this study, the author included an action plan that was formulated and developed to emphasize the importance of providing educational opportunities for mental healthcare resources in Division I athletic departments. The cumulative findings identified from influential and key stakeholders; the proposed action plan focused its attention on minimizing the identified barriers. Continually, improving the support from athletic departments towards mental healthcare education and expanding resources is the ultimate objective for this intervention. Anticipated outcomes, ensuing interventions, and implications for future related practice and research are described in the conclusion.


Health Care Management, Health Care, Sports Medicine, Mental Health, Mental Healthcare Barriers, Sports Medicine Programs, Student-Athlete Mental Health

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2023, author