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- PublicationCoaches’ Mental Health Literacy and Role Perceptions for Supporting Young People’s Mental HealthCoaches’ engagement in helping behaviors such as promotion, prevention, and early intervention may help to support young people’s mental health. The purpose of this study was to examine how coaches’ mental health literacy and role perceptions would relate to their engagement in these helping behaviors with young people in the sporting environment. Two hundred ninety-six Gaelic games coaches (M age = 41.96, SD = 9.78; 14% female) completed an online survey containing a self-report measure of mental health literacy relevant to depression, and measures examining role perceptions (i.e., role breadth and role efficacy) for and engagement in prevention, promotion, and early intervention. Results from three path analyses revealed that mental health literacy was not directly associated with any of the helping behaviors, but there were significant indirect effects of mental health literacy for promotion, prevention, and early intervention via role breadth and role efficacy. Enabling coaches to engage in these helping behaviors by developing their knowledge, competence, and beliefs that these actions are an expected part of the role may provide an alternative and informal source of initial support for young people. Lay summary: This study investigated coaches’ mental health literacy, their role perceptions, and how these factors may influence coaches’ engagement in behaviors that can support young people’s mental health. The results suggest that developing coaches’ knowledge, competence, and beliefs may enable them to engage in these helping behaviors within the sporting environment.
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