PurposeUK mental health strategy calls for interventions that empower people to self-manage their condition. In lifestyle coaching, coach and client work collaboratively on positive behaviour change to improve client health. There is debate about the appropriateness of coaching for mental health, yet claims have not been supported with evidence. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explore the nature and scope of the existing research literature in this field.Design/methodology/approachScoping review.FindingsThe growing evidence base shows positive outcomes of coaching; for instance, symptom reduction, enhanced self-management and achievement of personal goals.Research limitations/implicationsThe evidence base is small and of variable quality, offering insights that warrant further exploration.Practical implicationsCoaching not only supports better self-management but also addresses further mental health strategy priorities (such as improved physical health and social functioning). Coaches need not be mental health experts; therefore coaching may be a cost-effective intervention.Social implicationsAs mental ill-health prevalence continues to rise despite widespread use of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies and medication, there is a need to explore how novel approaches such as coaching might be integrated into mental healthcare.Originality/valueThis is the first study to collate the evidence on mental health coaching, highlighting its extensive potential, which should be further explored in research and practice.
Journal of Public Mental Health – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 19, 2018
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