Athlete Mental Health

Research Summary – March 2023

This research into athlete stressors and mental wellbeing represents an important opportunity to gain critical insights into the mental health and wellbeing of New Zealand’s high performance athletes and evidence on which to base future wellbeing support for athletes.

This investigation aimed to assess the nature of stress elite athletes are experiencing, how many athletes within the New Zealand high performance sport system are experiencing depressive/low mood symptoms and to what degree.

The research assessed athlete stress by looking at everyday tasks that could be viewed as ‘stress-causing hassles’ for an individual. (Hassles refer to day-to-day annoyances that can, when added up, become a large part of a person’s overall stress.)

This research was independent, carried out by Massey University, and endorsed and supported by HPSNZ.

The findings outlined below highlight the importance of maintaining an active focus on the mental health of high performance athletes.

View research findings here.

Elite Athlete Stressors and wellbeing infographic

Options for athlete support infographic


Research summary (PDF 222KB)

Elite athlete stressors and wellbeing infographic

Options for athlete support infographic