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Dame Kelly Holmes talks about her own struggles with mental health issues | Athletics News

The two-time Olympic champion says the government is disappointing people because we fail to recognize the shared importance of physical and mental health; “When I was 33 years old, the year before the Olympics, I got to the point where I collapsed enormously from the pressure”

Last updated: 13/10/22 21:34

Dame Kelly Holmes, two-time Olympic champion in 2004, spoke about her mental health issues

Dame Kelly Holmes, two-time Olympic champion in 2004, spoke about her mental health issues

Dame Kelly Holmes has been candid about her mental health issues and said we need to recognize that physical and mental health go hand in hand.

Warning: This article contains references to suicide.

The middle-distance runner told Beth Rigby that she struggled with her mental health throughout her career and described it as a “battle” in her head.

Dame Kelly, 52, competed in her last major championship, the 2004 Athens Olympics, winning gold in the 800 and 1500 meters, but said the “pressure to succeed” led her to a slump when she was 33. .

She said: “I went through stress fractures, torn calves, ruptured Achilles tendon, glandular fever, tonsillitis, a damaged femoral nerve in my back and mental health problems for seven of my 12 years as an international athlete.

“I got to the point where I was 33 years old, the year before the Olympics, when I was getting ready for a World Championship where I had a huge breakdown because of the pressure and expectation of myself to be good.

“One because I was struggling with other things in my life, but two because I really wanted to be an Olympic champion. And I got to a point where I honestly didn’t want to be here, but I did it.”

Holmes opened up her slump when she was 33, preparing for the Olympics

Holmes opened up her slump when she was 33, preparing for the Olympics

Dame Kelly, who has previously talked about harming herself, said it was a “battle” in her head, “where half of you want to live and the other half don’t”.

She said her mental well-being requires her to be active — from walking to relieve stress to going to the gym, home workouts or running.

She said the government is letting people down on mental health because we fail to recognize the importance of physical and mental health “side by side”.

Holmes says government is failing people because they fail to recognize the shared importance of physical and mental health

Holmes says government is failing people because they fail to recognize the shared importance of physical and mental health

She added: “Why are we becoming more obese? Why is there a huge problem with teen mental health and suicide? Because we’re not looking at the importance of being active and how that correlates with above,” as she looked at her orphan. head.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK.



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