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Using football cultures as a vehicle to improve mental health in men: the case of the Redcar and Cleveland Boot Room

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Darren FlynnORCiD


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© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This paper sets out to appraise (from the perspective of members) the impact of a localized, football-based mental health intervention. Commissioned in late 2015, the ‘Redcar and Cleveland Boot Room (BR)’ was implemented in response to mass redundancy in the local area, coupled with regional suicide rates in men that exceed the national average. Interactive discussions with BR members revealed that: (a) the language of football and shared identity were important for initiating and sustaining engagement in the BR; (b) peer-support and mentoring combined with member-led activities were active ingredients of the BR and (c) that the BR was an effective vehicle for building mental health resilience. This evaluation adds to the evidence base on the value of football as a context to engage adult males in community-based interventions targeting mental health resilience.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dixon K, Belshaw D, Johnson P, Flynn D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sport in Society

Year: 2019

Volume: 22

Issue: 7

Pages: 1258-1274

Online publication date: 04/11/2018

Acceptance date: 15/08/2018

ISSN (print): 1743-0437

ISSN (electronic): 1743-0445

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/17430437.2018.1514014


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