Wilkerson, T. A., Stokowski, S., Fridley, A., Dittmore, S. W., & Bell, C. A. (2020). Black Football Student-Athletes’ Perceived Barriers to Seeking Mental Health Services. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 55–81.
Black male student-athletes have endured frequent stereotyping on college campuses (Hawkins, 2010). Additionally, Black student-athletes have experienced educational, campus, and athletic stressors (Miller & Hoffman, 2009). Many student-athletes do not seek mental healthservices because of their status on campus (Watson, 2005). The general population has experienced common barriers in seeking mental health services including low socio-economic status (Hurd, Stoddard, & Zimmerman, 2013) and negative stigmas related to metal illness (Wang et al., 2005). While it is reasonable to assume similar challenges exist for Black student-athletes, it must be investigated empirically. As such, the purpose of this study was to examine the perceived barriers Black Division I football student-athletes face in seeking professional mental healthservices. Using phenomenological methodology, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine Blackfootball student-athletes. The data revealed two themes: weakness and silence. The results of this study will allow stakeholders to better assist this population in seekingmental health treatment and eliminating the barriersassociated with seeking mental health services.
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