‘Think Football’: Exploring a football for mental health initiative delivered in the community through the lens of personal and social recovery

Benkwitz, Adam and Healy, Laura C. (2019) ‘Think Football’: Exploring a football for mental health initiative delivered in the community through the lens of personal and social recovery. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 17. ISSN 17552966

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The practice and discourse of mental health recovery is evolving, with increasing appreciation given to personal recovery and now social recovery. It therefore follows that we need initiatives that enhance levels of social capital, positive social identities and social inclusion within the community, not just within mental health services. These initiatives must bring people together in ways that allow them to feel that they have ownership of any new social infrastructures and use evidence-based frameworks to evaluate them. One context that has been given some consideration is the use of community sport. This paper therefore contributes to the steadily growing literature in this area by exploring the specifics of a community mental health football project, through the utilisation of the personal and social recovery frameworks that have been established within the ‘mainstream’ mental health evidence base. This relativist study utilised seventeen semi-structured interviews (with participants and staff) and, as a deliberate departure from existing research, chose to adopt a deductive, theoretical approach to the analysis that located the data within the personal recovery and social recovery literature. Both participants and staff were considerably positive about the sessions, and data suggested an adherence to the empirically based CHIME personal recovery framework. In terms of alignment with the social recovery concepts, the data was particularly robust in supporting active citizenship processes, which can increase levels of social capital and enhance social identities. Future work is required to further explore the contextual impact of poverty and employment, and the role that sport can potentially play.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of of Arts, Society and Professional Studies > Department of Health and Behavioural Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Hazel Barham
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2019 10:01
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2019 10:01
URI: https://newman.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/17259

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