After some extensive research,
the sources on my chosen topic demonstrates that mental health within the
sporting industry is still a major taboo wither it is in a team sport or
individually. One of the websites states that sportspeople are under a lot of
pressure and scrutiny by their coaches, family members as well as the media,
causing young athletes to drop out of their sport before the age of 21.
Another source I found exhibits
that a lot of people tend to suffer in silence when it comes to dealing with
their mental health such as depression, anxiety and in a worst-case scenario
self-harm. The stigma associated with mental health is still an ongoing issue
within society, therefore individuals often do not go seek help or fail to
participate in mental health programmes as they feel “ashamed” or
they feel “weak” for doing so. This could be amplified even more so
in pro athletes who have a profile to maintain and fear that speaking out on
their psychological health could diminish their “role model” status.
A third source states that there
is a stigmatisation on behalf of some medical professionals when diagnosing and
treating athletes. For example; misdiagnosing athletes by overlooking the
possible signs of depression and writing it off as “overtraining”
leading individuals to feel a sense of loneliness and unsure of where to turn
There are annual events such as
the “Beyond blue cup” event whose main goal is to end the stigma
associated with mental health as well as promote awareness.
An additional article I read discusses numerous ways we can
try and overcome this stigma. One of those is by starting to have more open and
honest conversations with one another about this matter, as this then
normalises the topic of mental health and not have it be a taboo. Another way
to de-stigmatise this subject would be to spread awareness by starting a
positive movement, wither that’s through social media and/or campaigning.