October 09, 2019

World Mental Health Awareness Day - Hazel Chaisty's Story

Hazel Chaisty has travelled the world with Archery, shot internationally numerous times, won many medals, but what about her mental health?

Sports men and women can be amongst the fittest people on earth. The daily routine of training and honing your skills, eating the healthiest food and getting the right amount of sleep to keep your body in tip top condition is all part of the job.

But what about your mental health?

After losing my left leg in a motorcycle accident in 2004, I've battled with depression every single day. It's not about feeling sorry for myself or wanting sympathy from other people about what happened to me. It's a chemical imbalance in my brain that leaves me feeling desperately unhappy for no particular reason.

Being in a sporting spotlight can sometimes feel overwhelming on its own, but with depression underneath it, it can be crippling.

I take strong medication to help with that and I refuse to be ashamed or embarrassed to admit it. I also rely on the skill of our team psychologist and the bond I have with my coach to help me to cope with being an athlete. At home, I have a wonderful family that I can talk openly about how I'm feeling.

All of this together, means that I'm confident in fighting my demons as well as my competitors. It's all about having the right people around you and being able to talk.

To learn more about how to look after your mental health and create your own action plan, please click here.

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