Experts from across Scotland’s world class sporting system came together for a captivating exchange of information at the first Mental Health in Scottish Sport conference at Hampden Park.
Speakers included the world short-track champion Elise Christie, Scotland rugby player Fraser Brown and retired football professional Graham Gartland, each of whom spoke about poignant personal challenges with mental health and the impact their experiences had on their sporting careers.
Taking place in the middle of Mental Health Awareness Week, the conference was opened by the Minister for Mental Health, Clare Haughey, who was followed by some of the leading minds in sport medicine.
Dumbarton-born sports psychiatrist Professor Alan Currie was the keynote speaker and the sportscotland institute of sport was represented by head of sport medicine Dr Niall Elliott, currently preparing for his eighth major Games as chief medical officer for Team GB at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and Susie Elms, head of Performance Lifestyle.
The conference was covered extensively on social media. Below you can see two videos produced by BBC Scotland's The Nine team and Scottish Rugby, highlighting the stories told by Elise Christie and Fraser Brown.
Athletes gathered at the National Stadium today for a summit on #MentalHealth in sport. Scotland rugby player @fraserjmbrown and Great Britain speed skater @Elise_Christie spoke openly to #TheNine about their own battles with depression. pic.twitter.com/vxSakieqTv— The Nine (@BBCScotNine) May 15, 2019
WATCH | Scottish Rugby joined @ScottishFA @sportscotland & many others at the first Mental Health in Scottish Sport Conference yesterday. Hear what @fraserjmbrown @atiga1037 and Dr James Robson learnt from the day #supportwithinsport pic.twitter.com/JSmxb4yXYt— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) 16 May 2019
Here you can see how many of the conference delegates and partners reflected on their day on Twitter.
Our amazing Breathing Space colleagues Tony and Lisa-Jane are with @haughey_clare and a range of sports professionals at the Mental Health in Scottish Sport conference today ⚽️🏈#SupportwithinSport #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #YouMatterWeCare pic.twitter.com/2TJm61tyCV— NHS 24 (@NHS24) May 15, 2019
One in 15 people in Scotland will attempt to self harm during their life. One in five will suffer from mental health issues and one in four for people in sport. Don’t suffer alone, seek help and don’t be afraid to talk about it #SupportWithinSport #MentalHealhAwarenessWeek— Ewen Cameron (@ewencameronruns) May 15, 2019
The first Mental Health in Scottish Sport conference is taking place at Hampden Park today, supported by @sportscotland @scottishfa @Scotlandteam. Follow hashtag #SupportWithinSport to find out more #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #21by21#ConnectSport https://t.co/KXOgpNptM9— ConnectSport (@ConnectSport) May 15, 2019
Good to be at Mental Health in Scottish Sport event today at Hampden thanks to @sportscotland for the invite and look forward to hearing from @haughey_clare @MHCycleforScot and many others from across Sport #SupportwithinSport #MentalHealhAwarenessWeek— Billy Watson (@BillyWatsoSAMH) May 15, 2019
Fantastic to hear a key theme coming through in all of these talks.— Vikki Walls (@VicksWalls) May 15, 2019
"We want to produce the best possible performance, but we look at the athletes as people first"#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #mentalhealthinscottishsport #SupportWithinSport
Inspirational story from Dean Stott about his Special Forces career and Pan-American Highway cycle challenge. Cites the similarities of difficult transitions for armed forces and professional athletes, and the impact on mental health. #SupportWithinSport #MentalHealthAwareness— ScottishSportAssoc. (@scotsportassoc) May 15, 2019
Great to see Scottish sport coming together to raise awareness of the mental health issues affecting many athletes for this year's #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek! 👏#SupportWithinSport https://t.co/Z72RT9qZT0— Joanna Sproule (@JoannaSproule) May 15, 2019
Our Wellbeing partners @MHCycleforScot & @LisaJaneAitken from #BreathingSpace talking about positive mental health and our partnership at the Mental Health in Scottish Sport Conference #MentalHeathAwarenessWeek #SupportWithinSport #pfas pic.twitter.com/ywTMzNMjHP— PFA Scotland (@PFAScotland) May 15, 2019
Very interesting day-Lots of Medical experts from across Scottish sport & athletes came together at a conference to discuss one of the biggest restrictions in sport.— Eve Muirhead (@evemuirhead) May 15, 2019
Widespread of mental health issues amongst athletes.#MentalHealthAwarnessWeek #SupportWithinSport @sportscotland pic.twitter.com/39Ko4t9SYJ
Graham Gartland, Football Player and Coach, emphasises our Breathing Space colleague Tony’s words about the importance of having tools to support mental health #SupportwithinSport #YouMatterWeCare #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek pic.twitter.com/HsOwLPzeWp— NHS 24 (@NHS24) May 15, 2019
Find out more
- Discover more about the provision of mental health support in Scottish sport in Mental health matters
- Read Dr Niall Elliott’s blog on Cutting Edge: Mental health in sport: why it’s always better to talk
- Check out more social media coverage via #SupportWithinSport / #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
- Find out about the PFA Scotland support service for footballers: Support within sport
- Discover Scottish Rugby’s Rugby for Life programme
- Call NHS24 Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 – a free, confidential phone service for anyone aged over 16 – if you are feeling low, anxious or depressed