Healthy Mind

Emotional and Psychological

A significant emotional or psychological challenge can arise from a considerably difficult period in an individual’s life (e.g., death of a loved one, childhood trauma). Sometimes an individual can manage their way through this period, but at other times, it can provide a major challenge to how they think, act, and behave for a prolonged period of time.

Three of the most common significant emotional and psychological challenges come in the form of depression, anxiety, and substance dependence. Generally speaking, when someone experiences a major psychological challenge, they require qualified assistance to deal with it. This can come in the form of a counsellor, a clinical psychologist, or a psychiatrist.

A counsellor is trained in providing a space for an individual to safely explore emotional and psychological challenges that are troubling them either in the past, the present, or concerns about the future. A counsellor can help the individual to better understand themselves and others.

A clinical psychologist provides support to the individual to deal with unhelpful thoughts and behaviours that are significantly affecting their day to day life. This may involve approaches such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), that challenges the individuals’ thought processes, and helps them make better decisions.

A psychiatrist acts similarly to a clinical psychologist in that they can help challenge unhelpful thought processes, but in addition, they can also prescribe medication if they feel that it’s necessary (e.g., anti-depressants).

The PJA provides emotional and psychological support to help jockeys deal with significant challenges through their mental wellbeing partner sporting Chance.

Sporting Chance Confidential Helpline and Support Network

We understand that jockeys might not want to talk to someone they know or might need some additional support even after opening up to a friend, partner or colleague.  It is for this reason that the PJA works with Sporting Chance to provide a 24/7 helpline and access to a national network of mental health practitioners.

  • Jockeys, or a member of their support network can access Sporting Chance services by calling 07780 008877 this is a 24-hour number that is answered 365 days a year. Jockeys can also fill out a contact from at (Sporting Chance answer all calls during normal office hours, out-of-hours calls are collected by a partner-organisation called Health Assured. All calls are answered by a mental health professional).
  • Alternatively jockeys can contact a member of the PJA team during office hours. All calls will be treated in strictest confidence. They will organise for Sporting Chance to call the jockey and set them up with the individual support they need.  
  • The PJA will fund twelve sessions (face-to-face or online) with a mental health professional with Sporting Chance as part of a Jockey’s PJA membership (further funding may be considered in exceptional circumstances).
  • PJA Members may also be considered for Sporting Chance’s residential facility for addictive disorders.

Psychological Support at IJF Rehabilitation Centres

The IJF has partnered with Changing Minds, an organisation that specialises in mental health and wellbeing in elite sports environments. Changing Minds will have an HCPC registered, clinical psychologist working out of each of the three IJF rehabilitation centres , on the days listed below, to provide:

  • Psychological input, working closely with almoners and the clinical rehabilitation teams through team meetings and case consultations
  • Psychological ‘check-ins’ for jockeys and beneficiaries using the centres
  • Initial clinical assessment and facilitate access to external mental health support where needed  – including Sporting Chance
  • Brief psychological interventions with jockeys and beneficiaries where appropriate

To book an appointment, contact the centre directly on:

  • Tuesdays at Oaksey House, Lambourn – 01488 674242
  • Tuesdays at Jack Berry House, Malton – 01653 602090
  • Wednesdays at Peter O’Sullevan House, Newmarket – 01638 676200.

Key resources

Jockey Matters: Substance Abuse & Support

Jockey Matters: Addiction & Recovery