Examining mental health literacy, depressive symptoms, help seeking behaviors, and wellbeing in soccer match officials in the UK

Paul Gorczynski and Richard Thelwell

University of Portsmouth, School of Sport, Health, and Exercise Science, Portsmouth, United Kingdom

Citation

Gorczynski, P., Thelwell, R. (2022). Examining mental health literacy, depressive symptoms, help seeking behaviors, and wellbeing in soccer match officials in the UK. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 53(1), 25-35. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2022.53.025

Abstract

This study examined the levels of mental health literacy, depressive symptoms, help seeking behaviors, and wellbeing of UK soccer match officials. A total of 313 participants were recruited and asked to fill out online questionnaires. Twelve percent of individuals indicated that they have experienced at least possible depressive episodes. The average mental health literacy score was 98.8 (SD=11.1) and was lower than found in previous studies with other athletic populations. Mental health literacy was significantly positively correlated with help seeking behaviors and wellbeing and significantly negatively correlated with depressive symptoms, meaning those with greater knowledge and more positive attitudes of mental health were more likely to experience better mental health and seek support for poor mental health. Strategies are needed to improve the knowledge and awareness of poor mental health in soccer match officials in the UK and provide them pathways to professional support.

Keywords: Mental health, Mental health literacy, Match officialls Soccer


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