Whether you are batting at Lords or the Rec. Mental Health issues can affect anyone. Torquay CC are now very fortunate to have their own Mental Health First Aider. Evo our 1st XI Scorer, has attended a very intensive two day course, to both understand himself more and to help the club.
Research over 30 years by cricket writer David Frith has found the suicide rate amongst British cricketers is 1.77% compared to just 1.07% amongst British men generally. The PCA now have several Mental Health Ambassadors, many of whom have had their own struggles including Marcus Trescothick.
Mental Health First Aid originated in Australia back in 2001 and reached our shores in 2003/4. They have now developed courses for Adults, Children and the Armed Forces.
Evo can best describe the course as like going into bat and facing a quartet of fearsome West Indies fast bowlers from the 70s and 80s on a bouncy track but then being able to raise your bat having scored a century through improving your technique and shear defiance. As Evo says, “you can’t score a century without trusted partners at the non-strikers end though.” His quote actually sums up perfectly the challenges of mental health.
To complement Evo having completed the Adult version of the course. The club would undoubtedly benefit from someone doing the Children’s version to further strengthen the Welfare Team. Yes it is two days but hopefully we can apply to the DSCT for funding.