Mental health in sport: Coaches' views of their role and efficacy in supporting young people's mental health

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This study aimed to investigate coaches' awareness of mental health in youth sport, as well as their perceived role breadth and ability to support young people's mental health. Interviews were conducted with 13 sports coaches of young people aged 12-18 from Canberra, Australia. Interview transcripts were analysed using a combination of inductive and deductive qualitative content analysis. Coaches recognised that their role breadth allows them to be a useful source of support for young people's mental health by way of identifying concerns, facilitating help-seeking behaviour and promoting engagement in sports. Further training in mental health would boost coaches' ability to assist confidently and effectively, leading to benefits for young people's mental wellbeing and sporting experience. Coaches are in a position to positively impact young people's mental health, and set expectations for themselves to actively support young people in this way. Supporting mental health may be an area of future growth for the role of a youth sports coach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-114
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Health Promotion and Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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