Mental health literacy intervention to reduce stigma toward mental health symptoms and disorders in women rugby players: a feasibility study

Shakiba Oftadeh-Moghadam, Neil Weston, Paul Gorczynski

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Abstract

This feasibility study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational intervention on stigma toward mental health symptoms and disorders, mental health literacy, and help-seeking intentions among U.K. semielite women rugby players. Seven semielite women rugby players participated. An A-B-A single-case experimental research design was used to assess stigma toward mental health symptoms and disorders, mental health literacy, and help-seeking intentions at baseline, intervention, and follow-up phases. The intervention was successful in enhancing the players’ mental health literacy and reducing stigmatizing attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help. Acknowledging the study’s small sample size, the findings revealed that there is a need for scaffolding to support future developments, advancements, and maintenance of mental health support in women’s rugby. Practical implications of future findings from a larger-scale study may lead to policy reformation across the game to inform and improve systemic mental health support for women rugby players.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119–127
JournalThe Sport Psychologist
Volume37
Issue number2
Early online date8 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • help-seeking
  • mental health
  • well-being
  • female athletes
  • contact sports
  • gender

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