Focus On Mental Health

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This week's podcast focusses on the subject of mental health in tennis. During the Australian Open, ATP Tennis Radio commentator Chris Bowers was fortunate enough to sit down with Australian tennis player Thanasi Kokkinakis, who opened up about the mental health issues that he's gone through as a result of time away from the game due to injury and illness. We hear that extended chat and then Chris and fellow commentator, Peter Marcato discuss some of the points raised in the discussion. Later on in the programme we also air a recent feature from the ATP Uncovered show which focussed on Swedish tennis player Robin Soderling's own battles with mental health. The feature, which was which originally was broadcast as part of the ATP and WTA series, Tennis United, gave presenters Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Vasek Pospisil the opportunity to delve further into the subject. Peter and Chris also mention the efforts that the ATP have made to help support players who may be struggling with aspects of mental health, by linking up with both the Sporting Chance organisation and Headspace. With Sporting Chance, players have access to their 24/7 hotline through phone, text or email and following the initial outreach, are referred to Sporting Chance’s network of therapists, all experienced at working with elite sportspeople (including the Premier League, the Professional Crickets’ Association and the Football Association) who provide virtual appointments for the players. Headspace gives members access to Headspace’s Plus subscription. There is no cost for either of these services to ATP members. Finally, this conversation is meant as an open discussion about the various issues surrounding players health and wellbeing, but the views stated in the programme are those of the presenters, who are independent contractors and not necessarily those of the ATP.

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