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Kick-starting Men's Mental Health: An Evaluation of the Effect of Playing Football on Mental Health Service Users' Well-Being

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Previous research has shown that playing in a football team can have many positive benefits for mental health, including reducing social isolation and improving confidence. This article reports the findings of an evaluation of a football team. Ten participants with a variety of mental health issues took part. Participants were interviewed. Information, both quantitative and qualitative, was obtained concerning their experiences. Quantitative data was summarised and qualitative data was examined for themes. Players reported benefits such as improvements to their mental health, ability to deal better with their mental health problems, improved confidence and gains to their social life. Playing football has had a number of positive effects on the lives of the participants, and minimal negative effects were noted. Benefits both in the short and longer term may be gained. The results are in keeping with previous evidence suggesting that football is a useful supplement to traditional interventions.
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Keywords: CLUBS; CONFIDENCE; EXERCISE; FOOTBALL; PLAYING FOOTBALL; SELF ESTEEM; SERVICE USERS; SOCIAL INCLUSION; WELL-BEING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 August 2011

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Mental Health Promotion co-ordinates the dissemination of new research outcomes to all those involved in policy making and the implementation of mental health promotion and mental disorder prevention policies. It is essential reading for those with a personal or professional interest in this work.

    Peer reviewed by an expert international board, the Journal is a comprehensive information system which publishes material of distinction submitted by clinical/medical staff, health services researchers, managers, health promoters, educationalists, sociologists, health economists and practitioners from all branches of health and social care.

    The International Journal of Mental Health Promotion is designed to increase awareness, foster understanding and promote collaboration between the different disciplines engaged in this diverse activity of study.

    The International Journal of Mental Health Promotion is published four times a year and is an official research journal of The International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE).

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