Ahead of the game: A sports-based mental health programme for adolescent males
2019 selection and editorial matter, Gavin Breslin and Gerard Leavey; individual chapters, the contributors. Ahead of the Game (AOTG) is a comprehensive multi-level, multi-component programme for adolescent males delivered through community sporting clubs and organisations. The programme includes four components, two interventions for adolescents targeting mental health literacy and resilience, a parent mental health literacy intervention, and an intervention for coaches aimed at helping them to facilitate self-determined motivation. AOTG is primarily a mental health promotion and prevention programme that also promotes early intervention for mental illness and available support services. Targeting mental health literacy, help-seeking, stigma, and resilience in adolescent males is important for a number of reasons. Mental disorders are recognised as one of the most prominent contributors to the global burden of disease among young people, and they carry significant personal, social, and economic costs that can last a lifetime. At both the individual intervention and full AOTG programme level, implementation has been shown to have meaningful benefits for adolescent male mental health.