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Online depression tutorials set to help cricketers

cricketer with_full_gear_19_09_12They may look the picture of health in their crisp white kit, but out of all the sporting professions, it’s cricketers who are bowled over the most by depression. In fact, a 2001 study discovered that English cricketers were almost 50% more likely to take their own lives than the average male, and the game has the highest suicide rate of any sport.

In a move to combat mental health problems in players, the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) is encouraging players to watch a series of newly created online tutorials to help educate and raise awareness about the condition. The launch has been planned to coincide with the end of the domestic season, as this is considered a high risk period for players. Much like our Team GB Olympians after the Games, this period of settling back into home life can be a difficult adjustment for players used to the routine of training.

PCA assistant chief executive Jason Ratcliffe said: “Cricket has one of the highest suicide rates in sport.

“We ran an addictive behaviour initiative at each county for current professionals four years ago. The Mind Matters tutorials are a refresher of that content.”

The material covers everything from the stigma surrounding depression, to what to look out for and who to contact should a player recognise depression symptoms. There are also with specific sections on alcohol and drugs, gambling, anxiety, self-harm and how best to seek help.

High-profile England internationals who have personal experience with depression, such as Mike Yardy, who returned home from an England tour with a bout of depression, and Tim Ambrose, who has been a sufferer of depression for some time, also feature in the videos.

Picture credit: Shutterstock

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