The Second National Conference: The Mental Health of Athletes

 
 
 
The Mental Health of Athletes

Meet the speakers: Professor Alan Currie – Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Sport and Exercise Special Interest Group. 

 
Spotlight on Professor Alan Currie

Professor Alan Currie plays a major role nationally and internationally in Sports Psychiatry - he continually promotes the need athletes have for mental health support. Alan, as a key member of our conference planning team has injected his enthusiasm and expertise into the careful development of this event: The Second National Sports Psychiatry Conference - The Mental Health of Athletes – Who Cares?

Following his passion…

Alan’s work in Sports Psychiatry grew out of a sporting background as a successful runner in the late 70s and early 1980. He remains involved in sport on the administrative and coaching side.

Today, in Alan’s clinical capacity, he chairs the Royal College of Psychiatrist’s Sport and Exercise Special Interest Group (SEPSIG) – currently the fastest growing SIG at the College. As an experienced speaker, Alan has presented lectures at many international conferences of Psychiatry and Sports Medicine, topics included: illness behaviours in athletes, depression and eating disorders in sport and rehabilitation of doping offenders.

Because of Alan’s expertise & knowledge he has acted in a consultative capacity for national sports organisations, for example: UK Athletics, UK Sport and the National Institutes of Sport in Scotland, England & Wales. He also orchestrated the UK Sports Guidelines on Eating Disorders in 2007 and has developed a range of mental health training materials to use in sport.

He has co-edited two psychiatry textbooks and authored some nine book chapters. Most recently he edited a manual of Sports Psychiatry (Oxford University Press, 2016) for health care practitioners and those who work with athletes. He has written or co-written more than twenty peer-reviewed articles in major journals.

Alan works full-time in the NHS as a Consultant Psychiatrist with Northumberland Tyne and Wear Foundation Trust in their prestigious Regional Affective Disorders Service.

Unusually for a Psychiatrist he has a prominent academic position in Sport and Exercise Medicine where he is visiting professor at Sunderland University.

What is his role in the conference?

As well as co-chairing the conference, Alan will be presenting ‘Eating Disorders and Sport – the medical perspective and heading up an afternoon focus, not to be missed, on Eating Disorders from the athletes’ and the healthcare professionals’ viewpoints. The emphasis will be on the nature and extent of eating disorders in sports populations and will review the variety of terms and definitions that can cause confusion.

Why should you attend the Conference – Alan says….

Combine your career in mental health care with your sporting enthusiasm. Come to the conference and join our new and fast growing area of expertise. And, if you are involved in supporting the health and/or performance of athletes, it is important to know how mental health problems can impact on both and what you can do to help.

Why is the Mental Health of Athletes important?

Mental health problems are not only common but will impact on performance and more generally on well-being.  Acknowledgement of the athlete’s unique strengths and vulnerabilities is the starting point to providing appropriate support to sustain and restore mental health.

Posted by Alysha Waugh
 
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