• “For the love of the game”: The hidden mental health consequences of sport teams’ initiations

      Lafferty, Moira E.; Wakefield, Caroline; Ryan, David; University of Chester, Liverpool Hope (British Psychological Society, 2017)
      Abstract: Objectives: Initiations events, often referred to as welcome activities, are commonplace traditions in many sports teams. The short and long-term impact on the mental health of initiates, initiators and bystanders has been a focus of recent research attention. The present study aimed to explore the initiation experiences of UK student athletes and the subsequent effect on well-being. Design: Cross-sectional qualitative design using retrospective interviews. Methods: Sixteen sport team members were recruited through purposive sampling. Semi-structured interviews were conducted exploring participant experiences of welcome activities in their university sport teams. Results were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Six themes emerged from the data. These were: rite of passage; challenges; rules; reputation; persuasion and hierarchy. These themes were mapped onto the non-relational maltreatment conceptual framework that includes physical, social and emotional elements of bullying. In contrast to U.S. based studies, the results indicated that social bullying was the most prevalent, followed by emotional, and finally physical bullying. Conclusions: The study highlighted the occurrence of physical, social and emotional bullying during the initiation activities of sports’ teams. Furthermore, reference was made to the natural time progression in university sport that perpetuates the cycle of bullying and establishes the initiates as future initiators. For initiates who successfully negotiate the events, the effects of the bullying are minimised. However, for some this bullying can have serious mental health impacts both in the short and long term, whilst the challenges and risk behaviours may threaten the broader well-being of all involved.
    • The high prevalence of pre-existing mental health complaints in clients attending Saint Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre: implications for initial management and engagement with the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor Service at the Centre

      Manning, Daisy; Majeed-Ariss, Rabiya; Mattison, Michelle L. A.; White, Catherine; University of Manchester Medical School; Saint Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2018-12-05)
      Background: The Saint Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre has a unique service delivery model whereby it provides an integrated physical and psychological support services to clients, women men and children, living in Greater Manchester. The service is available to those who have reported rape or sexual assault, whether this is recent or historic. Clients living in surrounding areas of Cheshire are provided with forensic and medical services at Saint Mary’s Centre, with follow-up care provided locally, as appropriate. Aims: The primary objective was to identify the prevalence of self-reported pre-existing mental health complaints amongst adult clients who attended Saint Mary’s Centre for a forensic medical examination. The secondary objective was to consider levels of engagement with the Centre’s Independent Sexual Violence Advisor service by comparing clients who reported a mental health complaint to clients who did not. Method: One-hundred and eighty sets of client’s notes from 2016 were retrospectively analysed. Client inclusion criteria were that they were (a) over the age of 18 years when attending the Centre, (b) had attended for a forensic medical examination. Results: 69% of clients analysed reported a pre-existing mental health complaint. The time taken for clients to present to Saint Mary’s Centre following a reported assault tended to be later for the clients with self-reported mental health problems than those without. However, there was no difference in the long-term engagement with the Centre’s Independent Sexual Violence Advisor service at the Centre between the two groups. Conclusion: Prevalence of self-reported pre-existing mental health complaints is extremely high in clients presenting at Saint Mary’s Centre as compared to national and regional prevalence rates for mental health complaints in the general population. The vulnerability of this client group should be considered when they attend a SARC and support provided should be appropriate and accessible to their needs. Staff should have adequate training and supervision to be able to respond in this way.