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380 The english institute of sport’s mental health journey
  1. Samuel Cumming,
  2. Craig Ranson
  1. English Institute of Sport, Manchester, UK


Background Following a number of reviews into Olympic and Paralympic sport in the UK it was identified that mental health would be an area of focus for the Tokyo cycle. This led to development and implementation of a specific mental health strategy consisting of four pillars; education, provision, communication and assurance.

Implementation of a strategy to better-support the mental health of all people within the UK’s High Performance System.

Design Retrospective service evaluation of the implementation of UK Sport’s Mental Health Strategy, using statistics relating to two of the strategy’s four pillars – Education and Provision.

Setting Athletes and staff who are part of the UK’s High Performance Sports System.

Participants Athletes and staff from the UK’s High Performance Sports System.

Intervention A Mental Health Expert Panel was established in late 2018 to provide world-leading expert advice and guidance to the system on matters relating to mental health. In addition, an elite sport-specific mental health education programme was designed and delivered between 2019 and 2020

Main outcome measurements The primary outcome measures focus on usage of and feedback on the newly implemented initiatives (i.e. the Mental Health Expert Panel and education programme).

Results We observed significant uptake of mental health services (e.g. requests to access EIS Mental Health Expert Panel; delivery of education workshops). Data from athletes’ medical insurance scheme showed that the number of claims for mental health have increased and the average costs of these claims has decreased.

Conclusion Good start; high uptake in MHEP led to increasing their time; education programme built upon with MH Champions programme; possible correlation between increased awareness and earlier intervention, and increasing number of claims for mental health support with decreasing average cost; levels of psychological distress and wellbeing similar to levels observed in wider society.

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