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The London 2012 Olympics – will there be a legacy for mental health?

  • Alan Currie (a1)
Summary

The host country's legacy after the Olympic Games is multifaceted. Alongside such diverse elements as tourism, commerce and transport sit the health benefits of increased participation in sports and provision of the highest quality medical support for the nation's elite sporting performers. Mental health, however, merits no specific mention. This could be a missed opportunity to create a legacy that promotes the mental health benefits of exercise as well as ensuring that the mental health needs of elite sportsmen and women are recognised and met in the same manner as their physical health needs.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Alan Currie (alan.currie@ntw.nhs.uk)
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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The London 2012 Olympics – will there be a legacy for mental health?

  • Alan Currie (a1)
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eLetters

Mental health awareness can learn from the promotion of the Paralympics

Aashish Tagore, Specialist Registrar
11 September 2012

It is clear from the Olympic-themed articles in the August 2012 edition of the Psychiatrist that we are all agreed on one thing: sport is good. Whether this be in the context of promoting physical activity in thegeneral population as part of an Olympic legacy pledge, or as a means of battling the social exclusion that many people with mental illness experience. We are currently riding on the crest of an Olympic-induced wave. But what has impressed me most is the way in which the Paralympic Games have been promoted. From the 'Meet the Superhumans," slogan of the channel 4 advertising campaign, the message from the outset has been one of personalstrength, resilience and determination, and ultimately, triumph through adversity. We have heard stories of athletes who have endured great personal tragedy, but have managed to turn their experience in to success.The positive way in which such awe-inspiring individuals have been presented, has captured the public's imagination. This should serve as a beacon of hope to mental health professionals who are determined to challenge the stigma which our service users experience. After all, don't they have equally inspirational stories of human spirit in the face of mental illness and disability? It is our duty to find equally effective ways of presenting their life stories in such a positive light, with the hope that this will help in the battle against mental health stigma.

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Conflict of interest: None declared

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