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Addressing mental health needs of NCAA student-athletes of colour: foundational concepts from the NCAA Summit on Diverse Student-Athlete Mental Health and Well-Being
  1. Emily Kroshus1,2,
  2. Stephany Coakley3,
  3. Darryl Conway4,
  4. Kenneth Chew5,
  5. Niya Blair6,
  6. Jessica M. Mohler7,
  7. Jessica Wagner6,
  8. Brian Hainline6
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA
  2. 2Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle Children's Research Institute, Seattle, Washington, USA
  3. 3Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  4. 4Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  5. 5Student Counseling Center, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana, USA
  6. 6National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  7. 7Midshipmen Development Center, US Naval Institute, Annapolis, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Emily Kroshus, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195, USA; ekroshus{at}


We sought to identify concepts that may facilitate National Collegiate Athletic Association efforts to assist member institutions in addressing the mental health needs of student-athletes of colour. A two-step process was followed to generate and refine concepts, guided by Delphi methodology. First, a scoping review was conducted, including original peer-reviewed research articles that quantified or qualitatively described determinant(s) of racial or ethnic differences in athlete mental health or mental healthcare. Next, a multiday virtual meeting was facilitated to review the results of the scoping review, discuss lived experiences and generate potential concepts. Participants included a racially and ethnically diverse group of student-athletes, medical and mental health professionals, athletics administrators, diversity, equity and inclusion experts, health educators and representatives from leading organisations involved in athlete mental health. Through the consensus process, participants identified 42 concepts that member institutions might consider implementing on their campuses. Concepts were largely focused on organisational policies and practices such as staffing diversity and inclusion, expanded options for clinical support (ie, identity-relevant support groups) and within-organisation accountability. Concepts related to specific areas for stakeholder education were also identified. Institutions have the potential to play an important role in supporting the mental well being of student-athletes of colour, and the present concepts can help inform institutional action. While concepts proposed are believed to be broadly relevant across athletics settings, they would need to be further considered and tailored to reflect setting-specific organisational structures, resources and needs.

  • Psychology
  • Public health
  • University
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

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  • Contributors All authors made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data for the work; and drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and provided final approval of the version to be published; and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding This study was funded by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.