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The evidence-based content is now available on the GAA e-learning platform

The GAA, LGFA, and the Camogie Association, in partnership with Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, are delighted to make available across their memberships an online mental health course called One Good Coach™.

The course is based on the successful workshop Jigsaw delivers face-to-face across its 12 services. It offers participants a greater understanding of mental health, the importance of their role as a potential One Good Adult® in the lives of young members, and a greater awareness of how to promote and support young people’s mental health. While designed with coaches in mind, the 40-minute content should prove equally informative to Healthy Club or Children’s Officers, any other club or county volunteers that work with young people, or even interested parents or young people themselves.

One Good Coach™ ambassador, Dublin footballer Shane Carthy, knows first-hand the benefits of having a supportive coach in one’s corner. Back in 2014, when Shane sought professional help to deal with his depression, his then Under 21 coach Dessie Farrell was one of the first people he turned to for guidance and support.

Shane explains the impact of seeking help for his condition: “A weight fell off my shoulders instantly. I could finally focus on my treatment and overcoming the adversity I had experienced for too long.”

It is widely known the considerable impact of sport on the mental health of the general population, young people included. This finding was recently endorsed in the My World Survey 2 (MWS), the largest and most comprehensive study of youth mental health in the country. In this study, published in 2019, young people identified Sport as a top coping mechanism. But there’s more to it than the sport – there’s multi layers of influence within the club context that can also promote young people’s mental health, which can often be underplayed.

Taragh McGovern, Youth Mental Health Promotion Manager with Jigsaw, further explains:

 “Sports clubs are ideal settings for youth mental health promotion given the well-established health benefits, the large participation base, and extended access to children and adolescents during sports participation. Additionally, coaches are in an ideal position to promote and support young people’s mental health due to the contact time and nature of the coach-athlete relationship. The value of this relationship has been documented in the literature – we know that the presence of a trusted adult in a young person’s life is linked to better mental health (MWS 2019, 2012). For many young people, this adult is their coach.

“The aim of this course is to increase the mental health literacy of coaches and club members in the Gaelic Games Community so that they feel more confident to promote and support young people’s mental health within the breadth of their coaching role. Jigsaw are thrilled to partner with The GAA to bring One Good Coach to the GAA, LGFA and Camogie community. We hope you, and the young people who look up to you, benefit from this course.”

The One Good Coach™ workshop is now available to access on the GAA’s e-learning platform at https://learning.gaa.ie/courses/OneGoodCoach/


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