Government launches mental health support for top-level athletes

The Government will implement a new mental health strategy across all elite sports to promote mental wellbeing, a report has revealed.

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said the plan will improve awareness and training in top-level sport.

According to the report, elite sport must have mental health procedures embedded in their performance plans and provide clear pathways for athletes to help them access professional mental health support by 2024.

The strategy follows news that top-level athletes face enormous mental pressures but receive very little help during and after their careers.

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said: “We know that sport has a very positive impact on people’s mental health and can help in their recovery. But when sport is your job, the immense pressure to succeed can become too much.

“This Action Plan sets out how Government, sports and mental health organisations can work together to give athletes the right support before they reach crisis point.”

Emma Boggis, chief executive of the Sport Recreation Alliance, added: “I am very pleased to have worked together with the Sports Minister and Mind to develop this Action Plan which is committed to making a real change for elite sportspeople.

“We know that there is good practice in the sector through our work on the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation and working closely with our wider membership. But we also recognise that this needs to become common practice so that athletes and their support teams feel that their mental wellbeing is a priority.

The Mental Health Action Plan for Elite Sport report can be accessed here.

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