The present study had three aims, to determine: (a) whether providing a curriculum-based mental health awareness program to athletes increased knowledge of mental health and intentions to offer support; (b) whether the program increased resilience and well-being compared to a control group; and (c) the feasibility of the program. A total of 100 participants (Mage = 20.78; SD = 2.91;male = 59) either attended the program or were part of a control group. Participants completed questionnaires pre-, post-, and 3-months post-intervention, although there was a low participant return rate for the 3-month follow-up (n = 15). Participants were invited to take part in a focus group to explore program relevance. Knowledge of mental health and intentions to offer support increasedfor the intervention group, compared to the control. The program with some modification could be integrated into university sport courses to promote mental health awareness.
Bibliographical noteReference text: Ajzen, I. (1985). From intentions to actions: A theory of planned behavior. In J. Kuhl, and J. Beckmann (Eds.), Action-control: From cognition to behavior (pp. 11–39). Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.
Australian Department of Health and Ageing. (2009). Fourth National Mental Health Plan: An agenda for collaborative government action in mental health 2009–2014. Canberra, Australia: Commonwealth of Australia.
Bapat, S., Jorm, A.F., & Lawrence, K. (2009). Evaluation of a mental health literacy training program for junior sporting clubs. Psychiatry, 17, 475–479. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/10398560902964586
Bär, K.-J., Markser, V.Z. (2013). Sport specificity of mental disorders: The issue of sport psychiatry. European Archives of Psychiatry Clinical Neuroscience, 263(2):205–210. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00406-013-0458-4
Bauman, N.J. (2016). The stigma of mental health in athletes: Are mental toughness and mental health seen as contradictory in elite sport? British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(3), 135–136. PubMed doi:https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2015-095570
Bewick, B.M., Gill, J., Mulhearn, B., Barkham, M., & Hill, A.J. (2008). Using electronic surveying to assess psychological distress within the UK student population: A multi-site pilot investigation. E-Journal of Applied Psychology, 4(2), 1–5. doi:https://doi.org/10.7790/ejap.v4i2.120
Bickman, L., & Rog, D.J. (2008). Handbook of applied social research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Breslin, G., Haughey, T., Donnelly, P., Kearney, C., & Prentice, G. (2017). Promoting mental health awareness in sport clubs. Journal of Public Mental Health, 16(2), 55–62. doi:https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMH-08-2016-0040
Breslin, G., Shannon, S., Haughey, T.J., Donnelly, P., & Leavey, G. (2017). A systematic review of interventions to increase awareness of mental health and well-being in athletes and coaches. Systematic Reviews, 6:177.
Byrne, P. (2000). Stigma of mental illness and ways of diminishing it. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 6, 65–72. doi:https://doi.org/10.1192/apt.6.1.65
Chambers, D., Murphy, F., & Keeley, H.S., (2015). All of us? An exploration of the concept of mental health literacy based on young people’s responses to fictional mental health vignettes. Journal of Psychological Medicine, 82, 1–8.
Conra, C., Neumann, A., Haworth, J.G., & Scott, P. (1993). Qualitative research in higher education: Experiencing alternative perspective and approaches. Needham Heights, MA: Ginn Press.
Deci, E., & Ryan, R. (Eds.). (2002). Handbook of self-determination research (1st ed.). Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.
Department of Children and Youth Affairs. (2014). Better outcomes, brighter futures. The national policy framework for children and young people 2014-2020. Dublin, Ireland: Government Publications.
Donohue, B., Chow, G.M., Pitts, M., Loughran, T., Schubert, K.N., Gavrilova, Y., & Allen, D.N. (2015). Piloting a family-supported approach to concurrently optimize mental health and sport performance in athletes. Clinical Case Studies, 14(3) 159–177. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/1534650114548311
Donohue, B., Pitts, M., Gavrilova, Y., Ayarza, A., & Cintron, K.I. (2013). A culturally sensitive approach to treating substance abuse in athletes using evidence-supported methods. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 7(2), 98–119. doi:https://doi.org/10.1123/jcsp.7.2.98 Link
Dooley, B., & Fitzgerald, A. (2012). My world survey. National survey of youth mental health in Ireland. Dublin, Ireland: University College Dublin and Headstrong.
Drum, D.J., Brownson, C., & Denmark, A.B. (2009). New data on the nature of suicidal crises in college students: Shifting the paradigm. Professional Psychological Research Practice, 40, 213–222. doi:https://doi.org/10.1037/a0014465
Elbe, A., & Jensen, J.S. (2016). Commentary: Comparison of athletes’ proneness to depressive symptoms in individual and team sports: Research on psychological mediators in junior elite athletes. Frontiers in Psychology, 7:1782. PubMed doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01782
Evans-Lacko, S., Little, K., Meltzer, H., Rose, D., Rhydderch, D., Henderson, C., & Thornicroft, G. (2010). Development and Psychometric Properties of the Mental Health Knowledge Schedule (MAKS). Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 55, 440–448. PubMed. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/070674371005500707
Evans-Lacko, S., Rose, D., Little, K., Flach, C., Rhydderch, D., Henderson, C., & Thornicroft, G. (2011). Development and psychometric properties of the Reported and Intended Behaviour Scale (RIBS): A stigma-related behaviour measure. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 20, 263–271. PubMed. doi:https://doi.org/10.1017/S2045796011000308
Government Office for Science, UK. (2008). Mental capital and well-being: making the most of ourselves in the 21st century. London: The Government Office for Science.
Gulliver, A., Griffiths, K.M., & Christensen, H. (2010). Perceived barriers and facilitators to mental health help-seeking in young people: A systematic review. BMC Psychiatry, 10, 113. PubMed. doi:https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-244X-10-113
Gulliver, A., Griffiths, K.M., & Christensen, H. (2012). Barriers and facilitators to mental health help-seeking for young elite athletes: A qualitative study. BMC Psychiatry, 12, 157. PubMed doi:https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-244X-12-157
Headstrong. (2012). Somewhere to turn to, Someone to talk to. Retrieved from http://archive.headstrong.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Headstrong-Annual-Report-2012.pdf
Hölzel, B.K., Carmody, J., Vangel, M., Congleton, C., Yerramsetti, S.M., Gard, T., & Lazar, S.W. (2011). Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 191(1), 36–43.
Hughes, L., & Leavey, G. (2012). Setting the bar: Athletes and vulnerability to mental illness. British Journal of Psychiatry, 200(2), 95–96. PubMed. doi:https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.111.095976
Hunt, J., & Eisenberg, D. (2010). Mental health problems and help-seeking behavior among college students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 46(1), 3–10. PubMed. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2009.08.008
Jorm, A. (2012). Mental health literacy: Empowering the community to take action for better health. American Psychologist, 67, 231–243. PubMed. doi:https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025957
Karwig, G., Chambers, D., & Murphy, F. (2015). Reaching Out in College: Help-Seeking at Third Level in Ireland. Dublin, Ireland: ReachOut.
Lawlor, M., Rae, M., Kelly, N., & Moriarty, P. (2015). State of mind Ireland: Towards a skills for life passport. Proceedings of the CRSI Conference. Retrieved from www.stateofmindireland.com/crsi/resources
Longshore, K., & Sachs, M. (2015). Mindfulness training for coaches: A mixed-method exploratory study. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 9(2), 116–137. doi:https://doi.org/10.1123/jcsp.2014-0038 Link
Medical Research Council. (2000). A framework for the development and evaluation of RCTs for complex interventions to improve health. London, United Kingdom: Medical Research Council.
Michie, S., Atkins, L., & West, R. (2014). The behaviour change wheel: A guide to designing interventions. London, United Kingdom: Silverback.
Mind. (2014). Performance matters in elite sport. https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/news/minds-new-celebrity-ambassador-clarke-carlisle-calls-for-more-support-for-athletes-experiencing-mental-health-problems/#.Wowkpa5l-Uk
Nixdorf, I., Frank, R., & Beckmann, J. (2016). Comparison of athletes’ proneness to depressive symptoms in individual and team sports: Research on psychological mediators in junior elite athletes. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 893. PubMed doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00893
NUS Services Ltd. (2013). Mental distress survey overview. Retrieved from http://www.nus.org.uk/Global/Campaigns/20130517%20Mental%20Distress%20Survey%20%20Overview.pdf
Ortlipp, M. (2008). Keeping and using reflective journals in the qualitative research process. The Qualitative Report, 13(4), 695–705.
Putukian, M. (2015). The psychological response to injury in student athletes: a narrative review with a focus on mental health. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(3), 145–148. PubMed doi:https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2015-095586
Rice, S.M., Purcell, R., De Silva, S., Mawren, D., McGorry, P.D., & Parker, A.G. (2016). The mental health of elite athletes: A narrative systematic review. Sports Medicine, 46(9), 1333–1353. PubMed. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-016-0492-2
Rutten, B.P.F., Hammels, C., Geschwind, N., Menne-Lothmann, C., Pishva, E., … Wichers, M. (2013). Resilience in mental health: Linking psychological and neurobiological perspectives. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia, 128, 3–20. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/acps.12095
Sebbens, J., Hassmén, P., Crisp, D., & Wensley, K. (2016). Mental health in sport (MHS): Improving the early intervention knowledge and confidence of elite sport staff. Frontiers in Psychology, 24(7), 911. doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00911
Smith, B.W., Dalen, J., Wiggins, K., Tooley, E., Christopher, P., & Bernard, J. (2008). The brief resilience scale: assessing the ability to bounce back. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 15(3), 194–200. PubMed. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/10705500802222972
Tennant, R., Hiller, L., Fishwick, R., Platt, S., Joseph, S., Weich, S, … Stewart-Brown, S. (2007). The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS): development and UK validation. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 5, 63. PubMed. doi:https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7525-5-63
Thomas, D.R. (2006). A general inductive approach for analyzing qualitative evaluation Data. American Journal of Evaluation, 27(2), 237–246. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/1098214005283748
Thomas, L. (2012). Building student engagement and belonging in Higher Education at a time of change: final report from the What Works? Student Retention & Success program. Retrieved from https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/system/files/what_works_final_report_0.pdf
Tracy, S.J. (2010). Qualitative quality: Eight “big-tent” criteria for excellent qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry, 16(10), 837–851. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800410383121
Van Raalte, J.L., Cornelius, A.E., Andrews, S., Diehl, N.S., & Brewer, B.W. (2015). Mental health referral for student-athletes: Web-based education and training. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 9, 197–212. doi:https://doi.org/10.1123/jcsp.2015-0011 Link
Whiteford, H.A., Degenhardt, L., Rehm, J., Baxter, A.J., Ferrari, A.J., Erskine, H.E., & Johns, N. (2013). Global burden of disease attributable to mental and substance use disorders: Findings from the global burden of disease study 2010. The Lancet, 382(9904), 1575–1586. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61611-6
Windle, G., Bennett, K.M., & Noyes, J. (2011). A methodological review of resilience measurement scales. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 9, 8–18. doi:https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7525-9-8
World Health Organization. (2010). Global recommendations on physical activity for health. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.
World Health Organization. (2014). Mental health: A state of well-being. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.
World Health Organization. (2016a). Media centre, Depression Fact Sheet. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/
World Health Organization. (2016b). Media centre, Mental Disorders Fact Sheet. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.
- behavior change