Men mentoring, mental health and sports: SSaMS educational resources to support young men
What are young men’s mental health components? And the role and use of physical activity in mentoring?
Starting from these questions the partners of SSaMs - Training sports students as mentors gathered in the second project meeting, which took place at the Palackého University of Olomouc (CZ) on May 21st and 22nd, started a reflection that will guide the development of educational materials aimed at sports students.
The learning materials of SSaM will transfer to undergraduate sports students the skills necessary to support boys and young men through sports, motivate them to stay in school as well as to support their mental and emotional health.
The reflection considered among other some factors such as:
- the role of the family and school;
- social and peer pressure;
- the influence of gender stereotypes such as those related to masculinity in the development of the young adult.
While on the role of physical activity for the promotion of mental health some key aspects addressed are the type of physical activity to be proposed based on the characteristics of the recipients, the opportunity to create social connections and mentoring as a way to tackle mental health problems.
SSaMs partners discussed also the results of the needs analysis conducted in the past few months and addressed to the academic staff and students of sports sciences faculties, from UK, Ireland, Czech Republic, Spain, Greece, Italy and three extra countries: Cyprus, Finland and Sweden.
The survey was conducted:
- to identify the current situation in each country, the existence of programs specifically aimed at supporting boys and young men,
- to recognize the learning needs and preferences regarding the development of learning materials on mentoring and sport as means to support young men positive development.
It has been found that in the European context the development of gender-specific initiatives and policies is a fairly novel factor and the same is also for the university sports departments.
The results of the needs analysis together with the material developed within the Mangage initiative will form the basis of the SSaMs educational material, on which the partners will work in the coming months.
About the project
SSaMs – Training Sport Students as Mentors to Improve the Educational Attainment of Boys and Young Men is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Program, Key Action 2 Strategic Partnerships in the field of higher education.
The project is developing an approach in contrasting school dropout which combines sports, mentoring and attention to gender differences.