Football initiative is effective in decreasing depression in young men.

Research indicates that rates of mental health problems among children increase as they reach adolescence. Over the last few years it has been observed that males aged 16 to 24 years of age are the most likely group to commit suicide. This age group are also the least likely to seek professional support (National Statistics Online, pharm 2004).


.As part of the ‘Back of the Net’ initiative, researchers from Dublin City University have found using football and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) based techniques to be effective in decreasing symptoms of depression in young men. The ‘Back of the Net’ intervention involved participation in conditioned football sessions designed to facilitate the development of life skills, such as problem solving, communication and goal setting, within a sport setting. They found that the participants who had taken part in the conditioned football programmes showed significantly lower symptoms of depression.

Another community-based initiative is also being developed with the support of researchers from the University of Derby. The scheme entitled ‘The Winning Mentality Initiative’ forms part of the ‘Every Player Counts Initiative’, a leading project of the Football League Trust. This initiative's aim is to improve the health of young men who suffer from mental distress by bringing them together into a socially supportive team environment and using football as a medium to help reduce social isolation.

Players from Derwent Valley Rovers, a city-based mental health football team, have received significant benefit from the scheme. In response, the scheme has been opened out to other teams cross Derbyshire resulting in the first Winning Mentality Initiative Football Tournament which took place in October 2009.

Papa News
PAPA Featured on Horizon 2020

An article about the PAPA Project has been featured on the Horizon 2020 website. Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years.

End of Project Dissemination Conference

To mark the formal conclusion of the PAPA project, store at the end of September 2013 members of the PAPA Project came together to present their findings at a special one-day event.