Globally, the topic of mental health is underestimated in civil society and, if so in this context, even more so in high-level sport.
Whether for reasons of unfairness (attributing alleged “fragility” to those with manifestations of this sort), taboo, or lack of scientific information or knowledge, the truth is that the tendency to “artificial” is to separate “physical health” from “health” Mental” “ops does not help 1) recognition of its importance and 2) Understand its connection to the physical dimension, in relation to the possible (and expected) negative effects on it.
For the ‘normal person’ – understandably, any person and/or professional who does not have the minimum knowledge regarding emotional literacy and mental health – the difficulty is noted in identifying ’emotional injury’, such as physical injury when you see the knee bandage, They greatly complicate the ability to diagnose disorders or symptoms of psycho-emotional dysfunction in a timely manner.
For this reason, mental health issues (or lack thereof) are often misdiagnosed, which inevitably leads to mismanagement.
From this circumstance, it often results that, when the athlete is finally seen by a mental health professional (example: a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist), the clinical picture he holds actually reveals a more complex diagnosis (and one that takes a long time to resolve). ).
Simon Biles Testimony
Simone Biles is a product of a culture in which athletes are seen as true “superheroes”, where strength, physical skills, strength and mental health are confused (a phenomenon we also observe in Portugal, albeit in a less visible way).
Since the Larry Nassar scandal, with which Biles has been linked, admitting that she was one of his victims, this athlete has been involved in mental health campaigns in the USA, witnessing her own journey in this dimension – in fact, she has done too. When the Olympics were postponed for a year, revealing massive wear and tear and entry BurntWith noticeable depressive symptoms.
The importance of athlete certification in this field – unlike athletes who see the integration of the field of psychology into their sports training processes, not only as a way to enhance their flexibility and ability to deal with factors Stress And he added (the essential levers to maintain mental health), but also as a way to raise their own performance indicators – it’s very important because they not only normalize the use of psychology as a way to improve athletic performance (and as a really training area) how, in the specific case of mental health, they make It is possible for other athletes, perhaps in the same situation, to familiarize themselves with and understand that this is a more frequent process than they imagine.
And this, in fact, not only has a solution, but they must share it in their own channels and with their trusted personalities, because, like physical injury, it is a process that must be supported by a multidisciplinary team.
Although we have a great lack of information that would allow us to reliably evaluate the episode that has now jumped into the media (regarding the factors that led to its emergence), the truth is that it has become a new alert to the event. Need to rethink the mathematical process with regard to the early inclusion of mental health professionals.
So that they can, from an early age, work not only in the field of psychological education to break the stigma, but also in providing athletes with resilience skills and also in the ability to early detection of signs of lack of mental health, by all footnote.
It also highlights the need for athletes (and the teams that assist them) to develop, from their training, the skills to deal efficiently with stressful contexts, and again, these types of questions will only be adequately answered through the integration of psychologists with the necessary specialty and experience Proven for this purpose (ideally, a sports psychology major with clinical competencies, as it is beginning to be promoted internationally).
Scientific research and psychological education
Athletes, coaches and other agents (yes, because the topic of mental health is transversal of all of them, and therefore is not an exclusive topic for athletes – another topic considered more “taboo”…) in fact, a product of your subculture.
In other words, in the Portuguese case, if there is very little focus from a holistic (civil society) point of view on psychoeducation and prevention (on early detection of potential indicators of mental health disorders), then naturally this phenomenon looms large in the mathematical context – But this is not a Portuguese “phenomenon”, it is a global one.
Scientific research conducted in the region has shown, for many years, that this fragmented view of the human being (physical versus mental) can, in the context of sport: a) increase the risk of injury, b) delay the recovery process from injury, c) in dangerous compromise in their ability to perform; Likewise, athletic performance that falls below expectations can increase the risk of activating symptoms and mental health disorders, such as phenomena of an anxiety-causing and depressive nature.
Likewise, it has become clear that although higher rates were not found in the context of sport, in relation to the general population, with respect to indicators of symptoms and mental health disorders, a higher rate could be observed in elite sport. Falling in relation to eating behavior disorders and substance abuse. Performance and contextual stress factors (including increased risk of psychological, physical and sexual abuse) and barriers to seeking help are also higher due to mental health stigmas.
Osaka and Biles are, at the moment, only the protagonists of a group of Paragonas in the media, and because they are mental health-educated athletes (with acquired knowledge) in the field, when they communicate, they clearly do. assertive.
However, as long as we don’t unambiguously associate mental health topics with athletic performance itself (as they are), they tend to be forgotten frequently very quickly in the collective memory of all of us.
I did well?
Inevitably, by being exposed to this topic at the Tokyo Olympics, a host of initiatives and/or “opportunity professionals” will move into the social networks of ordinary citizens who will flood our mental space with miraculous projects and/or solutions.
This is still, unfortunately, in our tradition, and in large part, what many people/organizations are poorly assessed for this purpose.
Indeed, since this is a global and systemic topic, it is in fact important to think about and develop planned and coordinated actions in the short and medium term – without “rushing it” and with the seriousness that this topic requires because this is the topic of current society and is not an exact one.
Therefore, in reality, such cases are less frequent, so it is important to develop support programs for elites who actually choose sport and represent a country as a profession, but at the same time and with equal urgency and importance, to create training, psychoeducation and intervention models that can suit the specific needs of athletes and coaches And families, medical teams and other personnel who perform unmistakably essential functions in the athletes’ journey – these recommendations are, in fact, a priority also for the International Olympic Committee.
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