About Cougar Wellness

Thank you for your interest in participating. The online course is closed as of 5:00pm on Monday, January 7th, 2019.

Welcome and thank you for your participation in The Development and Evaluation of a Web-Based Program Empowering NCAA Coaches to Effectively Communicate with Student-Athletes of Concern and Make Mental Health Referrals: A Pilot Study, a 2018 NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice Grant funded project.

About the Research Team

The research team is comprised of Principal Investigators Leigh Skvarla, PhD, NCC and Dr. Mary Jo Loughran. PhD.

Leigh Skvarla holds a PhD in Sport & Exercise Psychology from West Virginia University and serves as an adjunct professor at Chatham University.

Dr. Loughran holds a PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and serves as the program director for Chatham University’s Counseling Psychology program.

Additional team members include Eden Bloom, BS, Luke Collier, MA, Meredith Deal, MS, and Amanda Halula, MS.

Eden Bloom is a 2018 Chatham University graduate currently pursuing her M.B.A at Chatham.

Luke Collier is in his second year of the Doctorate of Psychology program at Chatham University.

Meredith Deal and Amanda Halula are both 2018 graduates from Chatham’s Master of Science in Counseling Psychology program.

Meredith Deal currently works as a Research Specialist for UPMC’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.

Amanda Halula currently works in Carnegie Mellon University’s Career and Professional Development Center as the Assistant Director and Career Consultant for the College of Engineering.

About the Project

This project aims to educate head and assistant coaches at Chatham on the issues of psychological well-being among student-athletes, to recognize mental health concerns, and to make early referrals. As a voluntary participant in this project, we are asking you and your coaching colleagues to independently complete six 15-minute, web-based modules on the broad topics of (1) rapport building, (2) help-seeking behaviors, and (3) the referral process.

The content that will be presented in these modules builds upon material found online via the NCAA Sport Science Institute’s educational resources. As a study participant, you will be able to progress through the modules at your own pace. Therefore, you can choose to complete all of the modules in one sitting, or space them out over a number of weekdays.

In accordance with the NCAA Innovations grant, the research team encourages you to complete a pre- and post-course evaluation to assess your level of comfort and familiarity with student-athlete mental health issues, and to give you an opportunity to submit comments and questions. It is our hope that what we learn from you will allow us to better develop and advocate for the adoption of practical, effective modules into coaching education, and to disseminate more mental health information to other NCAA institutions.

If you are further interested, we are happy to field questions via email or in person, or to direct you to additional resources on your campus and in the local community. All information collected from you during this research project will be kept anonymous, and findings that are presented back to the NCAA will be summarized in aggregate form. Thank you for taking the time to help us enhance coaches’ understanding of student-athlete mental health at the collegiate level.

This project was funded by the Sport Science Institute through the NCAA as part of the Innovations in Research and Practice Grant Program. The information presented in these modules is intended for educational use only, and should not take the place of formal mental health treatment and/or consultation with a medical or mental health professional. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to use these modules freely for organizational and personal use. If you use this content for research or other publication-related purposes, we ask that you please give credit to the authors in the About section of this website and that you contact Chatham University or the authors if you have questions. Thank you, and happy learning!