The impact of peer mentoring on students’ physical activity and mental health

Glazzard, Jonathan, Rose, Anthea and Ogilvie, Paul (2021) The impact of peer mentoring on students’ physical activity and mental health. Journal of Public Mental Health, 20 (2). pp. 122-131. ISSN 1746-5729

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The impact of peer mentoring on students’ physical activity and mental health
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Purpose – A peer-mentoring scheme was implemented in a secondary school using a physical activity (PA)
intervention to improve mental health outcomes of students who were at risk of developing mental ill health.
These students are referred to as mentees. The evaluation was a qualitative design using focus groups and
semi-structured interviews. The participants reported an increase in PA in both peer mentors and mentees.
By the end of the project many of the mentees recognised that they had increased their levels of PA, they
were more aware of the benefits of PA and the relationship between PA and their mental health. In addition,
mentees reported feeling more confident and were more confident in forming social relationships. Peer
mentors reported developing many leadership skills during the project. These included improved
communication, confidence, empathy for others, relationship building and improved self-awareness. The
paper aims to discuss these issues.
Design/methodology/approach – Qualitative data were primarily collected from nine case study schools.
Each visit included interviews with peer mentors, mentees and the Wellbeing Champion.
Findings – Mentees developed improved social confidence and were generally more positive after
completing the intervention. Mentors developed leadership skills and greater empathy for their peers.
Originality/value – There is limited research on school-based PA interventions using peer mentoring to
improve students’ mental health

Keywords:Mental health, Physical activity, Peer mentoring
Subjects:X Education > X900 Others in Education
Divisions:Professional services > Lincoln Higher Education Research Institute
ID Code:46223
Deposited On:25 Aug 2021 13:53

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