PCA Launches 'Life Saving' Tutorials - 17/09/12
Today, the PCA launches its 'Mind Matters' series of online tutorials with the intention of educating its members, both current and past professional cricketers, to help identify crucial warning signs and how to get help.
Assistant Chief Executive, Jason Ratcliffe, commented, "Cricket has one of the highest suicide rates in sport. We ran an addictive behaviour initiative at each county for current professionals four years ago, so the Mind Matters tutorials are a refresher of that content with the key addition of new sections covering anxiety, depression and self-harm. Importantly we want all of our members and their families to know how to access help if the need should arise."
The tutorials are presented in the main by Marcus Trescothick, who has personally suffered from depression and anxiety throughout his cricketing career. He said, "Thankfully Mental well-being is increasingly being taken more seriously and along with that comes a decreasing stigma for sufferers. Cricket is quite a unique sport to play, and as people we are a normal cross section of the population and as susceptible as anyone to encounter problems of any nature."
Mike Yardy, who returned home from an England tour with a bout of depression, also presents sections on this topic alongside Warwickshire's Tim Ambrose, who has been a sufferer of depression for some time.
He said, "I'm very glad to have become involved and helped in explaining more about these key issues. If the tutorials help everybody in our game and the wider general public gain more of an understanding, then the impact for some could be lifesaving let alone life changing."
Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff also talks about his own personal problems in recent years and sends a 'call to action' for anyone who recognises the signs and symptoms.
Cricket has had its well documented problems with suicides down the generations and in a 'self-harm' chapter, former Essex CCC and Northamptonshire CCC bowler, Darren Cousins, talks about how he attempted suicide in March 2011 after finding life difficult, post cricket.
He commented, "There's no doubt I found the 'loss' of cricket and everything about it hard to cope with, but accepting the PCA's help was key to my recovery and where I am now. And that's my message; recognise your feelings and your state of mind and reach for help or accept offers of help. Don't be too proud, we have got a great support system in place to help us through tough times. Without my acceptance, I wouldn't be here to see my little girl grow up."
The PCA employs six regional Personal Development Managers, who help players to plan and prepare for their futures. Every current player has received a personal development plan this summer and it is hoped that this type of proactive approach will prepare players for a soft landing when cricket finally comes to an end.
LLP offers full clinical and psychological support to all PCA members in conjunction with the PCA’s Confidential Helpline and The PCA Benevolent Fund.
To watch the chapters of the PCA's Mind Matters' tutorial, click here.