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 national support network.

  • Jockeys, or a member of their support network, can call the helpline directly.  The number is 07780 008877 and this is manned 24hrs a day.  From 9.00am to 5.00pm it will be answered by Sporting Chance and outside of those hours the service is provided by Health Assured, where jockeys will be able to speak with a counsellor directly.
  • 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 one of Sporting Chance’s trained counsellors to call the jockey and set them up with the individual support you need. 
  • If a support plan is recommended, the PJA will fund a minimum of eight sessions as part of the PJA membership.
  • We will consider further funding if additional sessions or a residential stay is recommended.

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: Mental Health & Wellbeing

Jockey Matters: Addiction & Recovery