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Faith Martin

Mental Health Researcher (Sports for Development) (Former title)

Faith is a researcher working on mental health in relation to Sport for Development. She is a Clinical and Health Psychologist, having worked in the UK in a variety of clinical roles, including with refugees and asylum seekers. Her research has included investigating mental health in relation to HIV in Uganda, working with UNICEF in relation to child wellbeing measurement in Indonesia, designing psychological interventions for people with long-term health conditions, conceptualizing quality of life in Thailand, and more recently a focus on parents’ and carers’ needs in relation to child mental health difficulties. A mixed-methods researcher, she is currently an Associate Professor at Coventry University. She holds an MRes, PhD and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, all from the University of Bath, and MA (Hons) in Psychology from University of St Andrews.


Winning the Game: How Sport for Development supports the psychological well-being of adolescent refugees

Winning the Game: How Sport for Development supports the psychological well-being of adolescent refugees

In 2022, UNHCR estimated that 103 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide; in the same year, UNICEF further reported that 37 million of those displaced were children. Children and adolescents are more likely to have specific needs and vulnerabilities within the broader refugee population, which may affect their psychological well-being. In view of this, UNICEF Innocenti – Global Office of Research and Foresight and the Barça Foundation teamed up to investigate how Sport for Development (S4D) can be a positive intervention in the lives of refugee adolescents. The mixed-methods study was conducted in 2022 in two locations in Greece: Athens and the island of Lesvos, capturing the mental health profile of adolescent refugees (ages 11-19) and the key mechanisms of an S4D programme that may influence their psychological well-being. It builds upon previous research jointly carried out by the two organizations, providing key insights to improve the effectiveness of S4D programming (especially programmes that engage with young refugee populations), as well as recommendations for governments and donors that support S4D.