PCA launch 'Mind Matters' initiative

PA Sport
Marcus Trescothick features in the PCA's 'Mind Matters' initiative

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Marcus Trescothick features in the PCA's 'Mind Matters' initiative

Former England batsman Marcus Trescothick is at the forefront of a new drive to offer guidance to cricketers past and present on how to identify the warning signs of depression and addictive behaviour.

The Professional Cricketers' Association have launched a series of six online 'Mind Matters' tutorials, covering subjects including alcohol and drug abuse, gambling, plus anxiety and suicide, and offering advice to members on how and where to seek help.

The tutorials are mainly presented by Trescothick, who has suffered from depression and anxiety throughout his career.

Michael Yardy, who flew home from England's 2011 World Cup campaign due to depression, and Warwickshire wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose, another player to suffer depression, also present a section on the topic.

Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff and ex-Essex and Northamptonshire bowler Darren Cousins, who attempted suicide in March 2011 following his retirement, have also made contributions to the initiative.

PCA assistant chief executive Jason Ratcliffe said: "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."

Trescothick added: "Thankfully mental well-being is increasingly 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."

The PCA already employs six regional personal development managers, who help players to plan and prepare for their futures. All current players received personal development plans during the summer with the hope of better preparing players for when their careers come to an end.

LLP Consulting, a company specialising in mental well-being and performance, offers full clinical and psychological support to all PCA members in conjunction with the PCA's confidential helpline and the PCA Benevolent Fund.

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