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Sporting Highs and Lows

Priory healthcare’s podcast series, exploring the links between addiction, mental health and sport.

The impact of mental health and addiction is as profound in the sporting world as in all walks-of-life, but often leads to the experience of those impacted being played out in public.

The pressure from fans, teammates and family, along with the pressures that highly determined and driven individuals can place upon themselves, understandably can lead to an impact on mental health, including addiction. Add to that the impact of injury, success, failure and retirement, and it’s no surprise that mental health is one of the biggest area of concern for sportspeople.

Our new podcast, ‘Sporting Highs and Lows’, will be looking into the prevalence of addiction and poor mental health across the sporting world. We’ll be speaking to a range of people from across sport, who can give their own insights into how addiction, mental health and sport can be inter-twinned.

It’s hosted by Luke Sutton, ex-professional cricketer and now a sports agent, where he sees first-hand the impact of addiction and mental health challenges on those involved in Sport. Luke also speaks from experience, having sought alcohol addiction treatment with Priory over ten years ago.

Our latest episode of Sporting Highs and Lows

On our 5th podcast, Luke and Simon are joined by one of England’s best ever opening batsman. Marcus Trescothick appeared 123 times for his country, and played for Somerset for 26 years, including 6 years as captain.

In 2006, Marcus was forced to fly home after he suffered mental health issues on England’s tour in India. Later that year he also returned home from the Ashes tour of Australia, with what was described as a "recurrence of a stress-related illness".

In this podcast, Marcus talks about his experiences of that time, and gives his views of how cricket and other sports have dealt with the increasing instances of mental health challenges being seen amongst professional sportspeople.

Our Sporting Highs and Lows Podcast series

Sporting Highs and Lows Podcast – Episode 1 with Paul Walsh

Paul played for clubs including Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham, along with representing England. He then moved into a career in TV work on Sky Sports. He talks about the drinking culture within football in the 1980’s, his personal experience with alcohol addiction, and what triggered his journey into treatment.

Sporting Highs and Lows Podcast – Episode 2 with Chris Wood

Chris is a professional cricketer who has seen great success playing for Hampshire. Chris has been really open over recent months about his battles with gambling addiction, and in this podcast he shares his story, talks about opening up to his teammates and explains how he eventually realised he needed to seek support.

Sporting Highs and Lows Podcast – Episode 3 with Michael Chopra

With professional football said to be dealing with a gambling epidemic, in episode three of ‘Sporting Highs and Lows’ we are joined by Michael Chopra, who opens up about his quest to find something off the pitch, to replace the buzz of scoring goals on it. This led to a gambling addiction, which was to cost him thousands of pounds and ultimately end in recovery treatment.

Michael’s football career saw him playing for his boyhood club, Newcastle United, along with Sunderland, Cardiff and Ipswich.

Sporting Highs and Lows Podcast – Episode 4 with Nile Wilson

On our 4th podcast we are joined by a world-class gymnast who has recently announced his retirement from the sport. Nile Wilson has seen fantastic success over his career and medalled at two Commonwealth Games, the World Championships and the Rio Olympic Games.

Nile never fully recovered from a bulging disc injury suffered in his neck after the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which forced him to have corrective surgery and led to him battling depression. Nile has first-hand knowledge of the highs and lows that sport can bring, and on this podcast, he talks about the impact this had on himself and those around him.

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