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Mental Health in Elite Sport


Mental Health in Elite Sport


 In light of the WHO’s ‘World Mental Health Day’ on Wednesday 10 October, a meeting on the ‘Mental Health in Elite Sport’ will be held by the Intergroup Sports of the European Parliament. This meeting aims not only at identifying the role of elite athletes and coaches’ mental wellbeing, but also to acknowledge the needs in providing professional mental health support services to those acting at the highest level of competitive sport.

After an introduction to the significance of mental health in elite sports, elite athletes and coaches will talk about their experiences with mental health. This will be followed by presentations on providing mental health support in elite sport. The meeting will conclude with specific recommendations on the policy measures and support services aimed at ensuring the mental well being of talented, elite and retired athletes and coaches.

The 90-minutes program is structured as follows:

8:00-8:05 Welcome by MEP Bogdan Wenta
8:05-8:15 Introduction to the role of mental health in elite sport
Prof. Paul Wylleman, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
8:15-8:45 Elite athletes and coaches on mental health in elite sport
Moderated by: Frédéric Destrebecq, Executive Director, EBC
Chris Kerr (Gaelic Football Player)
Jamie Barr (2012 Olympics – 400m Hurdles)

8:45-8:55 The organization of mental health support in Olympic and
Paralympic sports
Maurits Hendriks, TeamNL
8:55-9:05 Using resilience to build mental health in elite athletes and
Prof. Peter Falkai, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München, European Psychiatric Association
9:05-9:25 Discussion
9:25-9:30 Closing with Recommendations on ensuring mental health support in elite sport

This meeting has been put together with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in conference with MEP Bogdan Wenta, member of the European Parliament’s Sport Intergroup, TeamNL, European Federation of Psychology Associations, European Federation of Sport Psychology, Fédération Internationale des Associations de Footballeurs Professionnels and EU Athletes.