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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2008 Nov;29(11):1179-99. doi: 10.1080/01612840802370640.

Social support for and through exercise and sport in a sample of men with serious mental illness.

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Leeds Metropolitan University, Beckett Park, Leeds, United Kingdom.


Social support is important for people experiencing serious mental illness and is also important during the initiation and maintenance of exercise. In this article we draw on interpretive research into the experiences of 11 men with serious mental illness to explore four dimensions of social support both for and through exercise. Our findings suggest that informational, tangible, esteem, and emotional support were both provided for and given by participants through exercise. We conclude that experiences of both receiving and giving diverse forms of support in this way are significant for some people living with and recovering from serious mental illness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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