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Mind matters for academies with PCA supporting players with mental health education
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The Professional Cricketers’ Association has teamed up with Mind, the mental health charity to deliver workshops on mental wellbeing to professional cricket academies throughout England and Wales.
Since the beginning of 2018, Mind and the PCA have been on the road delivering educational sessions on understanding and supporting individual’s mental health. The ‘Mind Fit’ sessions, delivered by Hammersmith & Fulham Mind, focus on supporting players’ mental wellbeing with a focus on young sportsmen and sportswomen.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, today (Friday 18 May), the England Women’s Senior Academy were delivered the presentation and become the 17th squad throughout England and Wales to be educated with 16 out of the 18 first-class academies already receiving the support.
Mind Fit – five aims of the workshop
- What is mental health?
- Why is it important to talk about mental health?
- When to seek support – early warning signs
- How to manage stress and support wellbeing
- Where to get support
The workshops are part of the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme which is financially supported by the PCA Professional Cricketers’ Trust. The mental health awareness sessions are the third and final targeted campaign which has been rolled out thanks to Graham Gooch’s donation to the charity as part of the PCA’s 50th year anniversary.
“Education at a young age is crucial and a good percentage of players in these academies will become PCA members so it is important we induct them into the Personal Development and Welfare Programme as soon as possible."
IAN THOMAS, PCA DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT & WELFARE
The partnership with Mind is the latest development in the PCA’s commitment to being proactive in supporting members with their mental health throughout their careers and beyond.
Launched in 2012, the PCA’s Mind Matters series is a resource for members to view and educate themselves on various effects and consequences on mental health through every day stresses. The tutorials were launched five years after the Confidential Helpline was set-up which continues to be a vital resource for PCA members.
With the PCA stress free app re-launched in 2017 and Mental Health Ambassadors, the PCA is also signed up to the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation to underpin the commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of professional cricketers.
PCA Director of Development and Welfare Ian Thomas has emphasised the need in educating players before they turn professional and explained the reasoning behind the campaign.
“For a number of years the PCA has been proactive in awareness of mental health and this is another step forward,” said Thomas.
“As with anything in life, education at a young age is crucial and a good percentage of players in these academies will become PCA members so it is important we induct them into the Personal Development and Welfare Programme as soon as possible.
“The stresses and strains of playing professional cricket is something which is no longer a taboo subject thanks to a number of players speaking out about their own challenges, noticeably England international Sarah Taylor.
“We wanted to take this education around the country and teach the academy players about the early warning signs, how to manage stress, the importance of talking and where to go for support which is something we are proud to provide through the PCA’s Confidential Helpline.
“Further to the PCA having Mental Health Ambassadors helping educate and encouraging players, working with Mind on this specific project has shown our continued proactive approach.
“It has been another really positive step working with one of the country’s leading mental health charities.”
“We’re delighted to be working closely with the PCA to help deliver on their commitment to supporting the mental wellbeing of cricketers, no matter what stage of their career they are in."
HAYLEY JARVIS, HEAD OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY FOR MIND
Hayley Jarvis, Head of Physical Activity for Mind, said:
“We’re delighted to be working closely with the PCA to help deliver on their commitment to supporting the mental wellbeing of cricketers, no matter what stage of their career they are in.
“We hope that the Mind Fit sessions, delivered by Hammersmith & Fulham Mind, will go some way to equipping future generations of England cricketers with the skills and knowledge to deal with the stresses and strains of the sport.
“One in four of us in the UK will be affected by a mental health problem in any year and elite sportspeople are in no way immune. In fact, our own research suggests that the unique pressures facing elite sportspeople, whether it be the impact of long-term injury or scrutiny from the media, mean they are more at risk of experiencing poor mental health.
“We are grateful to the PCA, one of the key signatories of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation, for recognising the power sport has to challenge the stigma around mental health. We will continue to work with sports organisations, both nationally and through our local Minds, to help them put in place good mental health practice and foster a more open and supportive environment for their staff and athletes.”