The Mental Health of Athletes – Who Cares?


The Mental Health of Athletes – who cares?

Meet the Speaker: Dr Phil Hopley

Dr Phil Hopley is a Consultant Psychiatrist and founder of Cognacity, a specialist psychological health and performance consultancy with a global reach.  He consults at 54 Harley Street and in Chelsea.  

Phil trained in Medicine and Psychiatry in London.  He is registered as a Consultant in General Adult and Forensic Psychiatry.  He worked for 7 years with the NHS in Secure Services before setting up Cognacity.  He is recognised as a leading expert in a wide range of medico-legal areas.  

Spotlight on:  

Dr Phil Hopley is a leading expert in the area of Mental Health in Elite Sport.  A former semi-professional Rugby Player with London Wasps he founded Cognacity in 2008 and leads their Sport Practice.  

Cognacity provide confidential psychiatric and psychological services to athletes from 15 of the UK’s leading sports.  They treat over 100 new cases per annum across a range of common mental disorders most frequently adjustment disorders, anxiety disorders and mood disorders.  

Phil is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at University College London and at the Institute of Sport and Exercise Health.  He provides consultancy input to a range of sporting organisations including National Governing Bodies, Players Associations, individual Clubs and Sports Administration Bodies.  He was actively involved in the development of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation established in March 2015.  

In 2012 Phil was the Honorary Lead Psychiatrist covering the 10,000+ athletes competing in the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.  He regularly speaks at conferences on Mental Health, Resilience and Performance in Elite Sport and Business.  He is a member of the World Golf Therapeutic Usage Exemption Panel and is also recognised as a leading Medico-Legal Expert in relation to sport and mental health.    

Following his passion:  

Phil grew-up as the eldest brother of a competitive trio of brothers in West London who all sort to out-do each other on the Rugby pitch, athletics track and in Cricket squares.  He spent 10 years playing top level Rugby with London Wasps.  

Following Phil’s retirement from Senior Rugby in 2001 his dream was to combine his love of sport and his professional career.  In 2008 he set-up the Cognacity Sports Practice and a few years later he was appointed by Dr Richard Budgett, Chief Medical Officer for LOCOG, to run the Psychiatric Team (provided by Cognacity) at London 2012.  

Cognacity now operates a network of nearly 100 mental health professionals (including Consultant Psychiatrists, Clinical Psychologists, CBT and other Psychotherapists).    

Under Phil’s guidance his team have run alcohol, drug and mental health awareness programmes across a number of sports.  This season Cognacity were delighted to help create and shape the outstanding “Lift the Weight” mental health awareness campaign of the Rugby Players Association:  Lift the Weight .  

Role at the Conference:  

Unarmed mortal combat against the soporific power of the after lunch speaker’s slot!  Phil will share his experience of overseeing the UKs largest private clinical sports psychiatry practice and the lessons learnt therein.  

Why should you attend the conference?

“A day off work at an iconic football stadium in the best city in the world – why wouldn’t you?  Just come along, learn, and enjoy.  Here is a chance to be part of a significant new development within the practice of mental health whether you are a doctor, psychologist, psychotherapist, allied professional or just someone who loves sport – this one’s for you.  

Why with the Mental Health of Athletes important:  

Everyone’s mental health is crucial.  Good mental health drives productivity, contentment, stable relationships and arguably societal harmony.  Athletes are no different to non-athletes, except perhaps for the fact that they occupy a very special place in the hearts and minds of millions of fans, thereby offering them the wonderful opportunity to be great ambassadors for the promotion of good mental health for all.  

Posted by Emma Dickinson
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