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Management of mental health emergencies in elite athletes: a narrative review
  1. Alan Currie1,
  2. David McDuff2,
  3. Allan Johnston3,
  4. Phil Hopley4,
  5. Mary E Hitchcock5,
  6. Claudia L Reardon6,
  7. Brian Hainline7
  1. 1 Regional Affective Disorders Service, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle, UK
  2. 2 University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  3. 3 Mental Health Expert Panel, English Institute of Sport, Sheffield, UK
  4. 4 Cognacity Wellbeing, London, UK
  5. 5 Ebling Library for the Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  6. 6 Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  7. 7 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alan Currie, Regional Affective Disorders Service, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle NE4 5PL, UK; alan.currie{at}ntw.nhs.uk

Abstract

Mental health emergencies require a rapid, effective response. We searched the literature on mental health emergencies in athletes and found five papers. None of these addressed elite athletes. Nonetheless, common mental health emergencies may present in the sports environment and may place the athlete and others at risk. Sports teams and organisations should anticipate which emergencies are likely and how medical and support staff can best respond. Responses should be based on general non-sporting guidelines. We stress the importance of clinicians following standard procedures.

  • athlete
  • sport
  • elite performance
  • accident
  • psychiatry
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Footnotes

  • Contributors AC, DM, AJ, CLR, BH: substantial contribution to conception and design; acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data; drafting the work and revising it critically; final approval of the version to be published; agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work. PH: substantial contribution to conception and design; acquisition and analysis of data; revising the work critically; final approval of the version to be published; agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work. MEH: substantial contribution to conception; acquisition of data; drafting the work; final approval of the version to be published; agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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