Mental wellbeing is a problem for more athletes as Tokyo declares a state of emergency

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According to the founder of the charity Sporting Minds, confusion about the status of the Tokyo Olympics has led to an increase in the number of professional athletes citing mental health concerns – even as the Japanese capital was put under a state of emergency on Thursday due to another spike in cases of coronavirus.

The number of referrals to his healthcare provider BUPA from Sporting Minds, which funds mental health resources for young athletes, fluctuated approximately in line with the coronavirus waves. And the charity’s founder, Callum Lea, said it was no surprise that aspiring Olympians, given the effect of uncertainty on their immediate career goals, were increasingly among those seeking encouragement and guidance. “2020 was a year when athletes had to think a lot more about mental health because the challenges they were facing were so open. For Olympic athletes, this opportunity only comes once every four years and they could be at the peak of their career and many of them know this is their only or last chance. “2020 was a year when athletes had to think a lot more about mental health because the challenges they faced were so open. This opportunity only comes once every four years for Olympic athletes and every four years for Olympic athletes. Despite the increasing coronavirus situation around the world, the International Olympic Committee and officials in Tokyo have repeatedly sought to ease fears about the postponed Games. Tokyo organizers say that the declaration of a state of emergency “provides an opportunity for Tokyo 2020 to plan for a safe and secure state of emergency, in effect a much softer lockdown than that currently being experienced in the UK.” You’re totally in the dark and there’s nothing you can do about it but to keep practicing and hope for good news. Sporting Minds UK is a registered charity that offers young athletes mental health support and encourages it. Go to: www.sportingmindsuk.org to get personal support, get involved or donate

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