The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has developed new guidelines for identifying, treating and managing depression in adults.
The guidelines include a preference for talking therapies over medication for patients with mild or less severe depression.
As the UK's leading provider of mental health services to professional sportspeople, Sporting Chance welcomes this ideological shift, as our CEO, Colin Bland explains:
"Talking therapy is an enormous part of what we do and is an effective treatment for many that suffer low mood and/or emotional discomfort.
"We welcome the move towards talking therapy as a priority, however this doesn't come without its challenges.
"At Sporting Chance, we pride ourselves on being able to offer almost immediate support. A professional sportsperson can call our 24-hour confidential helpline and expect to be in contact with a therapist usually within 24 hours.
"Unfortunately, we know that waiting times for NHS talking therapy can be long in many areas of the country and this could worsen due to these recommendations. It is also true that mental health services are seeing an increase in numbers at this time. We would always encourage anyone suffering persistent low mood to seek professional help through their GP and to start this process as early as possible. We support the NICE recommendations of using mindfulness and exercise to compliment the process. There are also many excellent self-help and third sector organisations that can offer support.”
"Overall, we at Sporting Chance agree that talking therapy is an effective long-term solution for low mood, and many other mental and emotional health conditions, and are pleased with the ethos behind this change. However, we hope that the practical processes needed to facilitate such a change can align with the expectations and service already afforded to those within top level sport.”