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The One Good Coach™ mental health course sees Jigsaw partner with GAA, LGFA, and Camogie Association.
The One Good Coach™ mental health course sees Jigsaw partner with GAA, LGFA, and Camogie Association.

GAA and Jigsaw relaunch the One Good Coach™ mental health course 

On World Mental Health Day, the GAA, LGFA, and the Camogie Association, in partnership with Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, are delighted to make available a new online youth mental health promotion course called One Good Coach™.

Mental health is a key issue for young people, particularly in the current world we live in. My World Surveys 1 and 2, published in 2012 and 2019 respectively, the largest and most comprehensive study of youth mental health in the country, provided insights into the mental health of young people – including what are the stressors in their lives, what are their coping skills and who they turn to for support. Over 70% of young people in both surveys identified a One Good Adult in their lives, an adult they trusted and could turn to when they were feeling down or had a problem. Some of these adults were parents, teachers, older siblings, and coaches.

To support this research, the One Good Coach online course gives coaches an opportunity to build their knowledge around mental health and wellbeing and learn how they can promote and support young people’s mental health in their coaching roles. Through approaches like the 5-a-day for mental health and active listening, coaches can learn how they can be One Good Adults to the young people they coach. While designed with coaches in mind, the 40-minute content should prove equally informative to Healthy Club or Children’s Officers, or any other club or county volunteers that work with young people.

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 as it identified sport and exercise as one of the main coping skills young people used when times are tough. When young people choose to participate in sport, it can be a strong protective factor for their mental health – improving confidence and self-esteem, building resilience, and developing friendships and connections. 

Taragh McGovern, Youth Mental Health Promotion Manager, Jigsaw explains that:

 “Sports clubs are ideal settings for youth mental health promotion given the well-established health benefits, the large participation base, and extended engagement with 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 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/