The Elite Athlete Mental Health Strategy Trial

2014-08-27 03:20:42 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of this study is to determine whether positive mental health help-seeking attitudes, and behaviour in elite athletes can be increased through an online intervention.


Mental disorders account for approximately 30% of the non-fatal disease burden in Australia, with the most prevalent disorders of depression, anxiety and substance use disorders experienced by 18% of the population in any single year. These disorders are significantly more common in young adulthood than at any other stage in the lifespan. Despite the availability of effective treatments for many disorders, this high susceptibility in young people is coupled with low rates of seeking professional help. As elite athletes have been found to have less positive attitudes towards seeking help for mental health issues, and they are most often young adults themselves, they may be even less likely than non-athletes to utilise professional services. Although there is a strong relationship between exercise and positive mental health, the prevalence of mental disorders in elite athletes is currently not known. A literature review of the general literature on help seeking and a series of focus groups with elite athletes from the Australian Institute of Sport conducted by the current research group in 2008, suggested that help-seeking by these athletes might be increased by improving their knowledge about mental health, reducing stigma, and providing feedback about the symptoms of common mental disorders.

The current project was designed to test these possibilities utilising an online format. The Elite Athlete Mental health Strategy (TEAMS) project comprises two phases: (1) a large scale survey of the mental health status of elite athletes; (2) a randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of three interventions designed to increase help seeking attitudes and help seeking behaviours related to mental disorders in elite athletes. These three interventions are: destigmatisation and mental health literacy; feedback; and a help-seeking list of resources. The study aims to compare the effectiveness of these three interventions relative to each other and a control condition.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label


Mental Health Help-Seeking


Control, Destigmatisation and Mental Health Literacy, Help-seeking list, Feedback


The Centre for Mental Health Research, The Australian National University
Australian Capital Territory




Australian National University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:20:42-0400

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