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The BAC is delighted to announce an increase in its mental health support provision, after three members of our athlete-facing staff team joined the English Institute of Sport (EIS) Mental Health Champions programme.

Samantha Little (Head of Athlete Support), Kristian Thomas (Athlete Engagement Manager) and Hannah Dean (Athlete Support Manager) all completed the training last month, and will now each use knowledge and experience gained to ensure that each athlete who accesses BAC services is given the highest possible level of support in this area.

The BAC complements the vital mental health work undertaken by National Governing Bodies and organisations such as the EIS, giving every athlete access to the support they need, and is also able to provide athletes with an independent route to access mental health provision through the BUPA-delivered Athlete Medical Scheme.

However, the varied nature of the BAC’s work means that cases brought to the organisation by members on a number of issues also often require consideration and discussion around mental health.

Samantha Little explains:

“We’ve seen an enormous growth in the number of athletes using our services in recent years, and invariably, when an athlete sees the need to seek our support, the issue in question may have an indirect impact on wellbeing, and possibly mental health.”

“Whatever the individual athlete has concerns about, the anxiety or worry has the potential to have a detrimental effect on their mental health, possibly increasing the need for support.

“In recent years, in both sport and wider society, we have begun to see a welcome and absolutely vital increase in the frequency of discussions around mental health, and mental health training given to athletes and support staff. It is crucial that we continue this progress, and ensure that every athlete is supported, and that the conversation continues to develop.

“As the Athlete Support team at the BAC, we can help to drive this progress forward.”

Kristian Thomas adds:

“We know and appreciate the commitment that individual sports have to increasing conversations and dialogue around mental health, however we also know that some athletes may want to have those discussions in an independent and confidential space. At the BAC, we can offer athletes access to the BUPA Athlete Medical Scheme away from their typical environment, which gives athletes another avenue to help and support.  

“We want to continue encouraging athletes to have these conversations, and to make sure they receive the best possible support through whichever route they are most comfortable with.”

The BAC can offer expert, confidential and independent support to its members on a variety of issues. To contact the Athlete Support team, please email support@britishathletes.org.

 

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