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A sociological examination of sports coaches’ perceptions of their role in supporting participants’ mental health and an evaluation of the Mental Health First Aid training course

Clayton, Luke Anthony (2020) A sociological examination of sports coaches’ perceptions of their role in supporting participants’ mental health and an evaluation of the Mental Health First Aid training course. Masters thesis, York St John University.

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Abstract

Mental health illnesses are becoming ever increasingly recognised as an important health concern within society, particularly amongst children and young people. Utilising the sport and physical activity environment to develop and improve mental health awareness and support is also gaining momentum. Community sports coaches have been identified as holding an important role in supporting their participants' mental health. However, existing research in the field has begun to highlight that community sports coaches lack the necessary training, knowledge and skills in order to effectively fulfil this role. Much of this research has focused upon quantitative research - using questionnaires to investigate coaches' perceptions of their role in supporting participants' mental health. This study, therefore, aimed to build upon the existing research by examining the sports coaches' perceptions through a qualitative lens whilst applying the theoretical orientation of Figurational Sociology. The aim of this study was to investigate the coach’s role in supporting participants' mental health as well as their experiences of the Mental Health First Aid training courses. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 community sports coaches from across the United Kingdom, analysed using Figurational Sociology concepts including figurations, habitus and power. Findings concluded that coaches recognised that their role in supporting participants' mental health was crucial and highlighted that the training regarding mental health awareness and support was fundamental in enabling them to effectively and confidently fulfil this role. Ultimately, this study has added to the existing evidence base regarding community sports coaches' role in supporting their participants’ mental health, whilst examining the effectiveness of Mental Health First Aid training courses.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Status: Published
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV711 Coaching
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
School/Department: School of Science, Technology and Health
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/5781

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