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News : Mental Health Helpline Launched for Jockeys
London, UK, Aug 6, 0215 -- The launch of a dedicated mental health helpline for jockeys has been welcomed by former champions Richard Hughes and Tony McCoy.
The service for members of the Professional Jockeys Association, brings the horse racing industry into line with cricket, rugby and other sports.
The 24-hour-a-day welfare helpline is being funded by Great British Racing, and is being launched in conjunction with LPP, an organisation dedicated to mental health, well-being and people performance.
Recently retired McCoy said: "The life of a jockey can have many highs, but given the lifestyle - restricted diet, self-employed with no guaranteed income, risk of injury, long hours - it can also be very demanding.
"Mental health is just as important as physical health. The confidential helpline has been set up for jockeys who would like to talk to a professional counsellor or therapist in absolute confidence."
Hughes said: "I think this is a tremendous and most welcome development which will be of great help to jockeys.
"I know from my own experience earlier in my riding career that this would have assisted me when I was facing some personal challenges. I would have certainly have taken advantage of the chance to talk through some of these issues with an expert adviser."
Paul Struthers, chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association, said: "This partnership with LPP will provide help and support to jockeys for a variety of issues and is long overdue. There should be no stigma around mental health issues and this is one of the reasons why I have spoken openly about my own past issues.
"A jockey wouldn't think twice of seeking support for a physical problem, and this confidential helpline and subsequent face-to-face support will provide them with the same level of support for mental health as the Jockeys Injury Management (JIM) Team, Oaksey House and Jack Berry House provides for physical health."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Professional Jockeys Association:
The PJA is dedicated to supporting jockeys in all aspects of their profession and negotiates with all the racing authorities and other trade bodies to improve the jockeys’ standing.
About Great British Racing:
Great British Racing is the sport’s official marketing and promotional body, working with all of racing’s stakeholders. Read more at http://www.greatbritishracing.com/about-great-british-racing/#fYqyJuQHZsf1qxLP.99
Published: Monday, August 10, 2015