Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Athletic Training – Post Professional Concentration

Committee Chairperson

Lindsey Keenan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Emily Duckett, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Rachel Daltry, Psy.D.


Through the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 10 NCAA student-athletes reported feeling so depressed it has been difficult to function (NCAA, 2020). Despite this, student-athletes are significantly less likely to seek mental-health help than their non-athlete peers. The present study sought to develop and validate the Perceptions of Barriers to Seeking Mental Health Help in Student-Athletes (PBaS-MH) and the Perceptions of Facilitators to Seeking Mental Health Help in Student-Athletes (PFaS-MH) surveys in college student-athletes, as well as determine predominant barriers and facilitators they experience with seeking mental health help. A convergence mixed-methods research design was conducted to triangulate results. The surveys were administered to 550 student-athletes at one NCAA Division-II university during scheduled team meetings. A total of 312 (56.7%) student-athletes completed the quantitative portion, while 277 (50.4%) completed the qualitative portion of the surveys. Qualitative analyses revealed awareness was the predominant theme when it comes to mental health literacy. The predominant barrier themes were self and accessibility while the predominant facilitator themes included Accessibility and community. Quantitative analyses revealed the PBaS-MH and PFaS-MH both demonstrated excellent reliability, ɑ=0.924 and ɑ=0.960, respectively. One factor (eigenvalue = 9.685) explained 32% of the variance and one factor (eigenvalue = 14.429) explained 48% of the variance, for the PBaS-MH and PFaS-MH respectively. The development of this survey is the first step towards accessing mental health barriers and facilitators in student-athletes, but further research needs to be done to assess mental health help seeking in this population in a larger sample.