Spring Meeting – March 2018

Sport and Exercise Psychiatry Special Interest Group – Spring Meeting

Friday 2nd March 2018 (10am-4pm)

Severe weather conditions claimed the original venue as a victim late in the afternoon of the previous day. Thanks to the good people of Woodbrooke an excellent alternative was secured at short notice. Woodbrooke proved a highly agreeable venue – a warm welcome, excellent food and superb audio-visual facilities made for a highly successful meeting. We were very grateful indeed!



Allan Johnston opened proceedings with an update on recent events and an overview of the day’s presentations.

Phil Hopley of Cognacity & Lynsey Williams (Player Development Manager with the Professional Cricketers’ Association) began the day with a joint presentation on cricket and mental health. Professional cricketers have the highest recorded incidence of suicide in professional sport in the UK. This session looked at data from the Professional Cricketers’ Association Confidential Helpline service and included case discussions covering some of the factors that underlie psychiatric morbidity in cricket.

Next on the floor were Amit Mistry and sport and exercise medicine (SEM) specialist Catherine Lester who described ‘Moving Medicine’ an exercise medicine initiative that highlighted among much else the importance and value of collaborations between psychiatry and the world of SEM.

 After a coffee break Tim Rogers & Stewart Cotterill (Chair of the British Psychological Society, Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology) presented their thoughts on the psychology/psychiatry interface in sport. Stewart was unable to attend in person but made his contribution via skype! By way of background Stewart gave a very useful overview of the skills and knowledge of the different groups working in sport who use the term ‘psychologist’. The challenges that sport and exercise psychologists face overlap with those of psychiatrists working in sport and there is a spectrum of knowledge and skill set that the two professions share as well as some important differences. The session began a potentially very fruitful collaboration and conversation between two complementary professions.

Following a delicious lunch Nicoletta Lekka shared with us her knowledge of mental health issues in the world of dance and reviewed dancers’ specific mental health needs. She was followed onto the floor by Helen Laws and Erin Sanchez of One Dance UK who described their work in supporting and advocating for dancers and their health. The session concluded with a discussion on how psychiatry might work jointly with the dance world. OneDanceUK


The final presentation was delivered by Reshad Malik and entitled Physical Activity and Old Age. Increasingly, evidence shows that physical activity (PA) in mid-life can maintain cognition in later life. The proposed mechanisms and applications in clinical practice were discussed.

After a brief tea-break and a photo opportunity the days events concluded with a short business meeting. There was no shortage of suggestions for inclusion in the next meeting (planned for September 2018 at a central London venue – details soon). In particular there was much enthusiasm for a session on addictions in sport.






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