When Winners Need Help: Mental Health in Elite Sport

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What connects these individuals Frank Bruno, Dame Kelly Holmes, Marcus Trescothick and Clarke Carlisle? If you said are all are winners you would be correct, if you said all are elite sports individuals you would also be correct, but there is something else that connects these elitelevel athletes. They have all reported having mental health concerns either whilst performing or shortly after retiring. Boxer Frank Bruno has bipolar disorder and depression and has been admitted to psychiatric wards 3 times in the last 12 years. Dame Kelly Holmes was battling depression in the lead up to the 2004 Olympics. Marcus Trescothick was playing cricket for England when depression forced his retirement. In 2014, Clarke Carlisle attempted to take his own life by jumping in front of an oncoming lorry and was later admitted to a psychiatric unit for depression. These elite sportspeople are not alone, the list could have included Gary Speed, footballer and Manager who took his own life in November 2012 after battling with depression or Terry Newton, Rugby league player, who also sadly took his own life in 2010, after being sacked and being found to have used performance-enhancing drugs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-47
Number of pages5
JournalThe Psychologist
Issue number8
Early online date3 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


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