Trescothick urges others to speak up on mental health

·5-min read
Trescothick now serves as a director of the Professional Cricketers' Trust alongside his role as batting coach with England
Trescothick now serves as a director of the Professional Cricketers' Trust alongside his role as batting coach with England

For cricketers, communication is key, and as an opening pairing Marcus Trescothick and Arul Suppiah were no different, but the duo took differing paths in revealing their mental health struggles, writes Sportsbeat's Milly McEvoy.

Trescothick, who serves as a director of the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, called time on his international career in 2008 due to struggles with depression and anxiety, becoming the first high-profile cricketer to go public with their mental health issues.

His batting partner at Somerset, Suppiah has only recently revealed his post-career battle with an eating disorder that by 2017 was having an adverse effect on his ability to live and caused him to spend periods of time isolated and avoiding social situations, with his mental health worsening

After receiving help from the Trust - the charity that supports members of the Professional Cricketers’ Association and their families when they are in need – Suppiah has gone public, a move Trescothick applauds.

The duo will be watching on eagerly as Somerset do battle at the T20 Blast Finals Day on Saturday when the Trust are partnering with the ECB and Sky Sports ahead of Finals Day of the Vitality Blast to highlight the work of the players’ charity and raise funds.

“Arul has obviously been through some tougher times since moving away from the game and obviously me and Arul opened the batting for a good number of years at Somerset,” Trescothick said.

“We communicated so much about what was going on but never so much about the mental health problems.

“I came out and talked about mine so much, but he never felt comfortable enough to talk to people and that's what we've got to try and keep progressing.

“Helping the next person feels in a better place that we can really make a difference earlier, but Arul’s story is superb.

“To think the journey he's been on, and the tough times he's been through and to come through the other side now and start being open about it.

“He's now looking to try and raise awareness in a different field to mine but again, if we have one person come through, and it helps them. Arul has done an amazing thing by talking about it and letting people know.”

The Professional Cricketers’ Trust will be front and centre of the Finals Day, with Trescothick’s beloved Somerset battling Hampshire in the second semi-final.

The 46-year-old may also be cheering on former county teammate Dom Bess as he represents Yorkshire in their clash with Lancashire, with Trescothick instrumental in Bess receiving support from the Trust for his own mental health battles.

With thanks to Sky Sports and the BBC, several the charity’s beneficiaries - both current and former players - will be there on the day to talk to the media and fans about the support they have received from the Trust.

In 2021 alone, the Trust supported 106 individuals with mental health problems, taking the total since 2015 to 526.

The assistance for current and former players in England and Wales is all encompassing, whether it be for physical or mental needs including provision of specialist equipment, funding operations or specialist wellbeing support.

Trescothick is encouraging cricket fans to get clued up on the Trust ahead of Saturday, where there will be plenty of opportunities to donate including during the famous Mascot Race.

He added: “The Trust is vital for all players and families involved with players just to get support when times get tough.

“The Trust is there to support players and help hopefully try and get back on track or help people in difficult times, or maybe sometimes in their last times on this earth.

“The more that we can keep raising awareness and growing the size of the Trust that we can then help the players the better it'll be.

“We know I’ve had support myself and needed to get a bit of help you to get things back on track in my own world so it's vital what we do

“I would encourage you maybe to have a little look online, go to the websites and see the full details of exactly what goes on.

“We are across many different areas in terms of support, from in my case mental health support to medical care, with specialist equipment and operations.

“There are lots of different areas that we can make a difference. Have a look, see what goes on and see the work that is put in place and really helps people across the cricket world.”

The Professional Cricketers’ Trust provides vital support to past and present cricketers in England and Wales and their immediate families when in desperate need. The charity’s work is all encompassing, whether it be for unforeseen physical or mental needs. Vitality Blast Finals Day is supporting the players’ charity - to find out more about the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, visit professionalcricketerstrust.org

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