The Mental Health Pathway for Professional Cricketers Association Members
The Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) help champion the ongoing interests of professional cricketers in England and Wales and represent every professional player, past and present. The organisation is internationally recognised for its personal development and welfare programme and has done a significant amount of work over the past 10 years to raise awareness of mental health within cricket and professional sport.
Thrive Mental Health was commissioned to work alongside the PCA to provide a review of current mental health provision, supporting the development of a mental health treatment pathway to ensure that all members were able to access a range of timely and appropriate mental health interventions. Thrive Mental Health sought to co-produce the pathway in collaboration with a variety of key stakeholders, including those with lived experience, player welfare professionals, science and medicine practititioners and National and International Player Associations.
Mental Health in Professional Cricket
Cricket as a sport can be tense and exciting and our commission landed soon after the success of the England men's team winning the Cricket World Cup in dramatic circumstances. Elite sport can deliver these moments but to be successful, both men and women players often make significant sacrifices and meet particular psychological challenges and demands.
For many sports, individuals are often in their athletic peak during a developmental period where the risk for mental health difficulties is high. This is in combination with a broad range of stressors and adversities that are unique to the sporting context and which have the potential to increase the risk to mental health problems.
Players, past and present, report feelings of guilt from balancing a professional career with family commitments; the stress of being away from home for long periods of time; idle time spent between games or injury and the pressure of fulfilling media, sponsor and management obligations. A series of high-profile individuals within the game have reported mental health issues, including depression and burnout.
'I considered hurting myself just to show people how much pain I was in. If you've got a broken leg you've got a cast on your leg, people can see you've got a problem but when you've got mental problems there is nothing evident to show you need help'.
Former Elite Cricketer
Supporting Professional Cricketers' Mental Health: The PCA Mental Health Pathway
The mental health pathway developed provides support to address such challenges, builds on a number of policy drivers and ensures the continuation of accessible evidence-based mental health treatment and support for all members.
"Thrive Mental Health provided an in-depth insight, review and recommendations. In the limited time we provided, we achieved the objective of the review and a diligent report to educate the charities trustees with decisions that needed to be made. Once again thanks to Thrive Mental Health."
Grateful thanks go to the PCA, National and International Professional Player Associations and CCC's for sharing their wealth of knowledge with the aim of developing best practice for mental health within sport.
Mental Health Resources
If you have been reading this post and been affected in any way or would like to find out more about mental health, you may find the resources below helpful.
Saneline - 0300 304 7000 - 16.30pm - 10.30pm 365 days per year