Addressing mental health through sport: a review of sporting organizations' websites

Sarah Liddle, University of Wollongong
Frank P. Deane, University of Wollongong
Stewart A. Vella, University of Wollongong

Liddle, S. K., Deane, F. P. & Vella, S. A. (2016). Addressing mental health through sport: a review of sporting organizations' websites. Early Intervention in Psychiatry: the development, onset and treatment of emerging mental disorders,


Aim: Mental health is a major concern among adolescents. Most mental illnesses have their onset during this period, and around 14% of all young people aged 12 to 17years experience a mental illness in a 12-month period. However, only 65% of these adolescents access health services to address their mental health problems. Approximately 70% of all Australian adolescents participate in sport, and this presents an opportunity for mental health promotion. Methods: This paper reviewed current approaches by sporting organizations to mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention by searching peak body websites, as well as the wider Internet. Results: Findings revealed many of the sport organizations reviewed acknowledged the importance of mental components of their sport to increase competitiveness, but few explicitly noted mental health problems or the potential of their sport to promote good mental health. Although some had participated in mental health promotion campaigns, there was no evaluation or reference to the evidence base for these campaigns. Conclusions: We describe a framework for integrating mental health promotion into sports organizations based on the MindMatters programme for schools.


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