Parents and coaches alike can play a key role in identifying mental health challenges in athletes, and are equally important in support and recovery. But it can be very difficult to know how to offer that support.

Parents

Young people's views and ability to express how they are feeling can be rooted in the interactions they see their parents having with these topics. Although many parents recognise the importance of being supportive with regards to mental health, it can be hard to know where to start.

Parent and Child
Image by Dan Burton

Coaches

"Great coaches are great humanitarians. They really care for the athlete as people first and athletes second." - Gordie Gillespie, American baseball, football and basketball coach.

Coaches can have an enormous impact on the lives of the sportspeople with whom they work. They also have a unique opportunity to support and uplift athletes, given the close bonds formed with their athletes whilst remaining outside of the family unit.

Flick through the slides below for tips and resources for parents and coaches:

Set an example

Be open about what you are feeling, how the actions and words of others make you feel, and don't shy away from admitting when you are finding things tough

Please note, this information is not intended to encourage people to self-diagnose. Please seek help from a medical professional if you feel that you need support with your mental health.

If you need urgent mental health support please contact Samaritans on 116 123. If your life is in danger, call 999 for an ambulance or go straight to A&E. There is no shame in asking for help.