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A role for football in mental health: the Coping Through Football project

  • Oliver J. Mason (a1) (a2) and Rebecca Holt (a1)
Abstract
Aims and method

Coping Through Football aims to improve well-being and reduce social isolation for younger people with severe mental illness in a deprived area of North East London. Interviews were conducted with 12 service users, 5 referrers and 2 coaches to obtain their views of the project's implications for health and well-being, quality of life and social/community relationships. A qualitative approach was used to derive themes from interview transcripts using some of the tools of grounded theory.

Results

Themes included: identifying with past self; service with a difference: opening up the social world; safety; empowerment; and feeling good. Coping Through Football was seen by stakeholders as leading to increased well-being and social opportunities within a safe and understanding environment.

Clinical implications

For many service users the football project played a key role in their recovery of personal and social roles. Social and community-based mental health projects benefit greatly from active community collaboration, in this case a professional football club and several non-statutory sport/leisure bodies.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Oliver J. Mason (o.mason@ucl.ac.uk)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Biddle, S, Fox, K, Boucher, S. Physical Activity and Psychological Well-Being. Routledge, 2000.
2 Grant, T. Physical Activity and Mental Health – National Consensus Statements and Guidelines for Practitioners. Health Education Authority, 2000.
3 Biddle, S, Mutrie, N. Psychology of Physical Activity Determinants, Well-Being and Interventions. Routledge, 2001.
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6 Braun, V, Clarke, V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qual Res Psychol 2006; 3: 77101.
7 Strauss, A, Corbin, J. Basics of Qualitative Research Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. Sage, 1998.
8 Wisdom, JP, Bruce, K, Saedi, GA, Weis, T, Green, CA. ‘Stealing me from myself’: identity and recovery in personal accounts of mental illness. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 2008; 42: 489–95.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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A role for football in mental health: the Coping Through Football project

  • Oliver J. Mason (a1) (a2) and Rebecca Holt (a1)
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