Mental Health | “Every death is too much” – Exhaustion and depression also lead young people in top shape to deep waters

In sports has a good chance of influencing mental health support, says the certified sports psychologist Tatja Holm.

He works as a responsible sports psychologist at the Helsinki Sports Academy Urhea and at the Olympic training center for summer and ice sports in Helsinki.

Holm cooperates with national teams in more than ten different sports.

“Where there are people, there are also mental health challenges. Exhaustion, depression and anxiety are common in many sports,” says Holm.

“Of course, in team sports there may be more of a challenge related to playing, for example, which is not necessarily seen in the same way in individual sports.”

On the other hand, more eating disorders have been observed in the aesthetic disciplines, but Holm warns against drawing equal signs between certain disciplines and disorders.

“I have noticed that different mental health problems and challenges can be encountered in any sport.”

“Everyone who is suicidal or at risk of suicide is at risk.”

Holm has closely followed young athletes who aspire to the top and who have reached it for years. He has also seen very challenging situations at his reception.

“Unfortunately, we have been in deep waters and of course thought about the means at that moment, how to support,” says Holm.

“We have used crisis work professionals and cooperated strongly in those situations. However, it’s quite common in our work too.”

Naturally, Holm only talks about his clients on a general level and says that both athletes and coaches have encountered challenging situations, which can happen to anyone.

“We have thought about how to get support and how and where to get support, and what is the network around it. As we know, we have a lot of work to do in this regard.”

“Everyone who is suicidal or at risk of suicide is at risk. It is important for us to note that every death and every difficult case is too much,” adds Holm.

“The change has been huge.”

To the reception however, in the case of an athlete who arrives or is more or less forced there, the state of affairs and the available professional help are made known.

“The change has been huge. It’s been crazy how top athletes react these days,” says Holm.

Holm was starting Mieli ry A young mind in sports project and has worked since the beginning of the year in a 20 percent employment relationship at the Institute of Top Sports in Kihu.

At Kihu, he conducts research on the mental health and psychological well-being of elite athletes and their connection to performance.

An expert in mental coaching has noticed that there is a lot of stigma and shame associated with mental health challenges. When you’re feeling hard, it’s hard to ask for help.

How could stigma and shame be reduced?

“Perhaps the normalization of the fact that these can happen to anyone is one important factor,” Holm replies.

“We especially have a job to do in order to understand mental health as part of performance, because it is.”

Psychic talking about health is everyone’s business, Holm emphasizes. However, it has been great for him to notice how athletes express themselves and face their challenges.

“If you think about mental health, it is an asset and the ability to function,” Holm reminds us.

“On the other hand, it is a variable state: it is not stable, but different load factors affect it. Then anyone’s mind can be shaken.”

Mental health problems are no longer the taboo they used to be, but mental health work still does not essentially belong to sports, Jere Peiponen told HS in an interview on Friday.

Read more: Jere Peiponen lost his son more than a year ago – he gives heartfelt advice on talking about problems

“I completely agree. A lot of systematic work is needed in sports organizations, clubs and elite sports, right down to young athletes and children,” Holm sees.

“We especially have a job to do in order to understand mental health as part of performance, because it is.”

Peipone’s son Roni Peiponen was a former professional soccer player, who talked about his depression after his career. Roni Peiponen died at the age of 25 at the end of 2022.

“We can have moderate psychological well-being, even if we have mental health challenges.”

About the whiners known Jukka Raitala said in the HS interview published on the same Friday that mental issues are not discussed in the same way as injuries.

Holm also sees the situation in the same way. According to him, body and mind cannot be separated.

“Mental health is just as comparable to physical health,” he says.

“If we talk about elite sports, pressures and challenges, then especially there it is emphasized that one makes choices according to one’s values, and there is more to life than that profession.”

According to Holm, paying more attention to mental well-being and doing preventive work plays a key role in elite sports.

“Mental well-being skills also help support a high-quality training routine and successful competitions and games,” he says.

“We can have moderate psychological well-being, even if we have mental health challenges. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be relatively healthy in everyday life when you get support.”

“Sometimes I have a little rose-colored glasses on my eyes.”

Help and applying for support is important when mental health challenges are looming ahead, so that making a correct assessment of the situation and agreeing on further measures are possible.

“There are many athletes who experience these and who have subclinical crises: there are injuries and failures and there can be various crises in life,” says Holm.

A crisis can be triggered by, for example, pressure or challenging interpersonal relationships, such as problems with a coach or bullying.

“From time to time even light support from a sports psychologist can help. The most important thing is that the situation is evaluated. We thought about different treatment paths, how we could support the athlete.”

“We strive to be able, with the athlete’s permission, to take the message to the coaching and involve the close circle in supporting and in the process,” Holm continues.

How much does today’s young elite athlete use the services of a sports psychologist?

“Most of our support athletes have contact with an expert in sports psychology,” Holm replies.

Mixed according to Holm, the Finnish sports management and coaches need more information about measures that support mental health.

“Sometimes I have a little rose-colored glasses in my eyes when I work with many coaches who understand how many mental health challenges there are,” says Holm.

This coaching staff also understands the importance of addressing mental health challenges and supporting athletes, but more awareness is needed.

“Education on how to act when worry arises and how to get support, play sports and in some way also support everyday life and everyday choices,” says Holm.

“All of our sports players would certainly benefit from this.”

Read more: Roni Peiposen’s, 23, dream of becoming a professional came true – but when a teammate’s question made Peiposen cry, he realized that he could no longer continue

Read more: Jere Peiponen lost his son more than a year ago – he gives heartfelt advice on talking about problems

Read more: These are the most difficult mental challenges – three professionals tell you how to avoid them

Read more: Paula Thesleff was supposed to become a dancer, but now she runs a company specializing in performance psychology: “Someone feels really bad and is very teary”

Read more: Former soccer player Roni Peiponen has died at the age of 25

author avatar
As an experienced journalist, expert in useful tips, I have a passion for providing valuable information and practical guides to a wide audience. My articles are characterized by thorough research and verification of reliable sources that ensure the quality and accuracy of every information I provide
Les Villas Du Soleil: Sunny News Today