Barriers and Facilitators to Help-Seeking for Mental Health Difficulties Among Professional Jockeys in Ireland

Lewis King, Sarahjane Cullen, Jean McArdle, Adrian McGoldrick, Jennifer Pugh, Giles Warrington, Ciara Losty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A large proportion of jockeys report symptoms associated with mental health difficulties (MHDs), yet most do not seek help from professional mental health support services. Due to the paucity of literature in this field, this study sought to explore jockeys’ barriers to, and facilitators of, help-seeking for MHDs. Twelve jockeys participated in semistructured interviews, subsequently analyzed via reflexive thematic analysis. Barriers to help-seeking included the negative perceptions of others (stigma and career implications), cultural norms (masculinity and self-reliance), and low mental health literacy (not knowing where to seek help, minimization of MHDs, negative perceptions of treatment, and recognizing symptoms). Facilitators to help-seeking included education (exposure to psychological support at a younger age), social support (from professionals, jockeys, family, and friends), and media campaigns (high-profile disclosures from jockeys). Findings are consistent with barrier and facilitator studies among general and athletic populations. Applied recommendations and future research considerations are presented throughout the manuscript.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-209
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Clinical Sport Psychology
Volume17
Issue number2
Early online date22 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • athlete
  • elite sport
  • horseracing
  • mental health literacy
  • stigma

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