Elite sport might be for a privileged few, but the damage can be real and relentless

There can no longer be any room for assumptions that a sporting life guarantees a healthy state of mind

Samuel Lovett
Wednesday 31 July 2019 01:35
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Sport has made significant progress in the field of mental health over the past decade, but in reality there’s still a long way to go. Many of us fail to understand how or why a sportsperson might be struggling in what can look like a privileged lifestyle. And this underpins the stigma that persists in elite sport.

There can no longer be any room for assumptions that a sporting life guarantees a healthy state of mind or that sportspeople are immune to mental health issues. The lives of those athletes lost to suicide is testament to this.

The last 12 months alone has seen the high-profile deaths of US cyclist Kelly Catlin and British snowboarder Ellie Soutter, both of whom took their own lives. For these individuals, sport was an irrelevance; in their eyes, life was simply not worth living.

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