According to the founder of the charity Sporting Minds, uncertainty about the status of the Tokyo Olympics has contributed to an increase in the number of elite athletes citing mental health issues – even as the Japanese capital was placed under a state of emergency on Thursday due to another spike in cases of coronavirus.
In line with the coronavirus waves, the number of referrals from Sporting Minds, which funds mental health support for young athletes, to its healthcare provider BUPA has fluctuated widely. And the founder of the charity, Callum Lea, said it was no surprise that aspiring Olympians are increasingly among those seeking assistance and advice, given the impact of uncertainty on their immediate career ambitions “2020 was a year where athletes had to think a lot more about mental health because the challenges they faced were so open-ended. “2020 was a year in which athletes had to think a lot more about mental health because the challenges they faced were so open-ended. “We’ve seen quite a big spike in referrals. We saw a pretty big spike in March and April when the first lockdown was in full swing, and we’ve seen another spike in the last month. “We have seen a quite large spike in referrals. In Marc, we saw a pretty big spike. For each person, it is different – there are some who are fine with it and others who are extremely anxious and begin to think that this is the chance they have been working towards all their lives and it is beginning to slip away. Despite the escalating coronavirus situatioo situatio, the International Olympic Committee and officials in Tokyo have repeatedly tried to alleviate concerns about the postponed Games. But athletes have no control over something like this. They’re completely in the dark and there’s nothing they can do about it except to keep training and hope for positive news.”But with something like this, athletes have no control at all. They’re completely in the dark and there’s nothing they can do about it except keep training and hope for positive news.” Go to: www.sportingmindsuk.org to get personal support, get involved or donate.