The mental health and wellbeing of highly performing individuals in business and sport demands attention due to the high costs (personal and financial) that disruptions can create for these individuals and their organizations or teams. Utilizing 13 interviews with support professionals (e.g., executive coaches, psychologists), this study explored factors affecting help-seeking and wellbeing amongst high-performing athletes and executives, consequences of not seeking help, and similarities present in business and elite sports environments. Themes including stigma, career consequences, logistics, culture, and isolation of leadership were identified as factors inhibiting help-seeking and wellbeing. Service delivery factors, organizational resources and policies, and leadership emerged as facilitative themes. Findings suggested further efforts to reduce stigma in these environments is needed. Recommended keys to improving the mental health and wellbeing within high-performance environments included engaged leaders who lead by example and foster trust, proactive prevention, availability of high-quality services, and advocacy by "mental health ambassadors."

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Executives -- Psychology; Coaches (Athletics) -- Psychology; Professional athletes -- Psychology; Well-being

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Gary Mangiofico