Updated: Aug 26
Depression as a mental health illness has been around for generations, but more recently observers have noticed unprecedented growth in the number of people being treated for depression, since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although people are social distancing it is recommended to avoid social isolation. Staying connected and in-touch with loved ones ultimately makes a difference.
Covid-19 has altered the way people from across the globe conduct their daily routines; more so, sportspeople who have been relegated to less than normal exercise, physical contact with team mates and the exhilaration of fans cheering them on.
In the absence of live sporting events; athletes, players, coaching staff and all the other role-players in sport had to find alternative measures to remain engaged and active.
Sportspeople are required to be both mentally and physically strong and healthy to compete at the highest level possible. Especially, sports played by individuals, such as golf, tennis and powerlifting, require advance levels of mental strength to cope with the demands and challenges in their respective sporting codes.
There is still a stigma attached to mental health and associated illnesses. In most communities, people are not openly discussing mental health challenges and the interrelated realities. It’s important to have open debates at school level with regards to the topic and sensitise the youth about the importance of engaging on the topic without prejudice and judgement.
Unfortunately, the awareness, priorities and focus on mental health in communities are not at the required and attention levels to support the risk associated. Underdeveloped and impoverished communities are the ones mostly affected, but not properly serviced with psychology practitioners.
As a society, there needs to be a complete paradigm shift towards mental health conditions and how it is managed, positioned and approached.
Stigma attached to mental health
Mental Health is approached as unspoken taboo
Lack of skilled and available psychology practitioners at public health facilities
Low levels of Awareness regarding treatment and risks
Mental Health does not receive the same support, funding and attention compared to other diseases
The game of golf demands mental strength and capability to be competitive and to master the sport. One bad round of golf can hamper the rest of a player’s game for the remaining games. This highlights the importance of mental strength to be able to recover from the setback and regain composure to end the game with an improvement on the disastrous round.
The Covid-19 period feels like a bad round of golf, which has lasted for three months, with a glimmer of hope for change.
Most of the professional sports people articulated how difficult it has been to stay motivated, engaged and focused during this time. More specifically, because their lack of exercise on a sporting field and related terrain. It required additional mental strength to keep going in the absence of management, team members and the fans to cheer them on.
Let’s remove the stigma attached to mental health related illnesses.