Examining the promotion of mental health and wellbeing in Australian sports clubs

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Abstract

Organised sport is increasingly recognised as a culturally acceptable site for mental health and wellbeing promotion. To date, however, there is limited knowledge pertaining to how exactly mental health and wellbeing is supported in such contexts. The present study aimed to provide insight into mental health and wellbeing promotion practices in Australian sports clubs. An online cross-sectional survey examined the current provision of mental health and wellbeing initiatives in sports clubs, barriers and motives to such promotional efforts, and perceptions of psychological safety within club environments. The survey was completed by 302 stakeholders of Australian sports clubs (Mage = 41.3 ± 15.7 years, 46.7% male). Fewer than half of stakeholders (47.7%) reported that their sports club had implemented initiatives to support mental health and wellbeing. Insufficient resources (e.g. knowledge, finances) were identified as the most prominent barrier to such promotional efforts. Sports clubs reported using various initiatives to promote mental health and wellbeing, although evidence-based resources (e.g. Ahead of the Game) were rarely implemented. Stakeholders in sports clubs that had implemented initiatives to support mental health and wellbeing perceived their club as a more mentally healthy environment and attained higher mental health literacy scores. Ongoing efforts to increase the utilisation of sports settings to support mental health and wellbeing are necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalSport, Education and Society
Early online date16 May 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 May 2024

Keywords

  • sport
  • mental health
  • wellbeing
  • psychological safety
  • mental health literacy
  • Sport

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