The PDPA Supports Mental Health Awareness Week

5 min read

Every year, 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem, but too many of us aren’t getting the help we need.

Over 2 million people are waiting for NHS mental health services, and since 2017 the number of young people struggling with their mental health has nearly doubled.

People tell us they feel overwhelmed and hopeless. They need support right now. With your help we can build a better future, where mental health is handled right.

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 13 to 19 May 2024. For Mental Health Awareness Week 2024. MIND are launching #NoMindLeftBehind. We’re calling on you to raise awareness and vital funds for a future where everyone can get quality mental health care when they need it.

Follow our social media accounts and get involved.

SKY Sports also this week spoke to some of this seasons Premier league players about Mental Health in Sport. It is important for our members to know all the Mental Health Support we have available for any PDPA Member.

Four of darts’ biggest names opened up on their own mental health battles in a Sky Sports documentary broadcast earlier this week.

‘Beyond The Oche’ saw Premier League stars Luke Humphries, Michael Smith, Nathan Aspinall and Peter Wright speak to Abigail Davies about their own experiences, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

World Champion Humphries has spoken candidly in the past about his mental health journey, which left him contemplating his future in the sport at one stage.

However, Humphries has overcome his adversity to become the world’s premier player, and he believes opening up on his struggles had a defining impact on his career.

“I’m enjoying playing and I’m enjoying going home and spending time with my family,”Humphries told Sky Sports.

“A few years ago I was feeling so anxious that I felt it was never going to work for me, so it was really important that I went out and spoke to someone, and opened up to my family.

“When you feel there’s no way out, it can be hard to look to the future, but I went through Cognitive behavioural therapy which definitely helped – you find the source of where the problem is coming from.

“I feel like when you reach the top everybody wants to knock you down, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. I’ve achieved everything I’ve done by being me.

“I used to get quite down on myself after a bad result, but I feel like I’m a lot stronger now, and I don’t listen to that negativity.”

World Matchplay champion Aspinall has also been faced with huge obstacles over the last few years, coming back from a career-threatening injury and defying dartitis to maintain his place amongst the sport’s elite.

“In any professional sport you have your ups and downs, and it can be very lonely as a darts player,” conceded Aspinall, the current world number four.

“I had a really bad moment in Brighton during the Premier League last year. Nobody knows how dark a place I was in at that time.

“I sought help and spoke to a sports psychologist. He’s worked absolute wonders for me and has almost reprogrammed my head to focus on the ups rather than downs.

“I’ve had so much support from my family, and all of the things I’ve gone through over the last four or five years has made me so much stronger, it’s unbelievable.”

Smith, meanwhile, fulfilled his darting destiny with World Darts Championship glory in 2023, having previously suffered heartbreaking final defeats against Michael van Gerwen and Wright.

“I was trying to overcome those demons by myself, and that was the hardest thing I had to overcome,” revealed the St Helens star.

“When I lost to Peter Wright in my second [World Championship final], I really questioned myself. Would I ever get another chance?

“Some days you have your dark days, but you build your strength up, you build your positivity up and your mind gets stronger, and that’s how I overcame my heartache. I kept believing.

“When people make comments on social media, they don’t realise what you’re going through. You could have a lot of demons in the back of your head and they’re just fuelling that fire.

“They need to realise that we’re still human beings that are doing a job; we’re just doing something we love.”

Wright has also endured a challenging journey to the top – and like Smith – lost in a host of major televised finals before joining the winner’s circle.

The two-time World Champion is one of the most recognisable characters in the sport, but his flamboyant image belies the humble figure you see away from the big stage.

“Away from the game, the confidence level in me is not great to be honest,” revealed the Scottish veteran.

“Peter Wright is a very shy person, but when he becomes Snakebite, he becomes this really confident guy.

“Dressing up gives me a lot of confidence; you almost feel like a superhero! It makes you feel good inside. It might not work for other people, but it works for me.

“Darts can be a really cruel game; when you’re up there under the limelight it can be really hard.

“When I won my first World Championship, it was like a great big weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It was a magical feeling, and it makes all the sacrifices worthwhile.”


Sporting Chance 
Any member can confidentially call the hot line 07780 008877 for Mental Heath support, advice and information. 

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