London: Former England batsman Marcus Trescothick is helping to spearhead a new campaign to help cricketers tackle depression and addictive behaviour. The Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) have launched a series of six online 'Mind Matters' tutorials, covering subjects including alcohol and drug abuse, gambling, anxiety and suicide, and offering advice on where to seek help.
The tutorials are mainly presented by Trescothick, who has suffered from depression and anxiety throughout his career. "Thankfully mental well-being is increasingly taken more seriously and along with that comes a decreasing stigma for sufferers," Trescothick said. "Cricket is quite a unique sport to play, and as people we are a normal cross section of the population and as susceptible as anyone to encounter problems of any nature."
Michael Yardy, who flew home from England's 2011 World Cup campaign due to depression, and Warwickshire wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose, another player to suffer depression, also present a section on the topic. Former England allrounder Andrew Flintoff and ex-Essex and Northamptonshire bowler Darren Cousins, who attempted suicide in March 2011 following his retirement, have also made contributions to the initiative.
PCA assistant chief executive Jason Ratcliffe said: "Cricket has one of the highest suicide rates in sport. We ran an addictive behaviour initiative at each county for current professionals four years ago, so the Mind Matters tutorials are a refresher of that content_cn with the key addition of new sections covering anxiety, depression and self-harm Importantly we want all of our members and their families to know how to access help if the need should arise."