Commenced in January 2007
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Teachers and Sports Coaches Supporting Young People-s Mental Health: Promotion, Prevention, and Early Intervention

Authors: Kelly R. Mazzer, Debra J. Rickwood, Thea Vanags


Young people have a high prevalence of mental health problems, yet tend not to seek help. Trusted adults in young people-s lives, such as teachers and sports coaches, can make a major positive contribution to the mental health of young people. Teachers and sports coaches may be in a position to be effective in supporting young people-s mental health through promotion, prevention and early intervention. This study reports findings from interviews with 21 teachers and 13 sports coaches of young people aged 12 to 18 in Canberra, Australia, regarding their perceptions of the relevance and effectiveness of their role in supporting young people-s mental health. Both teachers and coaches perceived having influential but slightly different roles to play in supporting mental health. There may be potential to elevate the influence of teachers and coaches as sources of support for young people and their mental health care.

Keywords: Teachers, Early Intervention, Young People, mental health promotion, Coaches

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