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Psychiatric disorders: The psychiatrist's contribution to sport


  • Recovery and Resilience


Document Type

Published Date

  • 2016


  • Athletes experience a range of mental health problems with at least an equivalent prevalence to the general population. This chapter explores the psychiatrist's role in sport, along a pathway of mental healthcare from 'upstream' prevention, screening, and early detection of mental stress to 'downstream' assessment, treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery from mental illness. At each stage on this pathway the psychiatrist has a broad spectrum of bio-psycho-social strategies to employ in clinical practice. Upstream, the importance of psychological resilience is described along with the concept of mental 'pre-habilitation' (a term usually associated with the prevention of physical injury). Alongside these preventative measures, early detection is improved by education, increased awareness, and by the use of effective mental health screening measures. Further downstream ready access to psychiatric expertise and good collaboration between the psychiatrist and the world of sport improve access to treatment, delivery of that treatment, rehabilitation, and return to sport during recovery.
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