“It’s brave of Mike to speak” – NTF to introduce new support system for coaches | Horse racing news



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Mike Sowersby: Coach opened up about his mental health issues on Sunday


By Stuart Riley

National Federation of Trainers [NTF] General Manager Rupert Arnold praised Mike Sowersby for his bravery in speaking out about his mental health issues and confirmed that the organization is working closely with Racing Welfare to introduce a more structured support system for coaches.

In Monday’s Racing Post, Sowersby spoke openly about the blackout which, at its lowest, made him feel like he “didn’t want to live”. He also spoke about the difficulty of asking for help, saying, “When you feel bad it’s the last thing you do and you’re not going to seek help. You feel so low, you don’t feel worthy. “

‘I didn’t want to live’ – coach talks about mental health issues

Sowersby added that the NTF had been instrumental in helping and Arnold said: “It’s courageous of Mike to speak publicly about the issues he faces and the challenges, not everyone is able to do it.

“I think the important thing is that people realize that there are people that they can talk to in private and confidentiality, whether it is NTF or Racing Welfare, there are people who will listen, will support and help.

“In this case it was a lot more friends and the community, coaches who were personally aware of Mike’s situation, talking and asking how we got Mike’s support. Some of them called me, and we, along with Racing Welfare, were able to provide assistance. People made the right phone calls to make sure Mike was taken care of. “

While this support is there for any coach who needs it, the NTF is working on a more structured approach and Arnold added: “As far as the NTF is concerned, we are working with Racing Welfare to provide support to coaches when they do. know for us, but there is no formalized structure at the moment. We have a project underway to create a little more structure around this medium. “

“title =” Rupert Arnold: “” It is courageous of Mike to speak publicly about the problems he has encountered and the challenges, not everyone is able to do it “” class = “js- imageLoader “data-at-xn =” https: //www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2017/12/01/33804-max.jpeg “data-br-n =” https: // www. rp-assets.com/images/news/ 2017/12/0133804-max.jpeg “data-br-m =” https://www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2017/12/33804-large .jpeg “data-br -w =” https://www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2017/12/01/33804-large.jpeg “data-br-xw =” https: // www .rp-assets.com /images/news/2017/12/01/33804-large.jpeg “onclick =” return false; “>
Rupert Arnold:

Rupert Arnold: “” It is courageous of Mike to speak publicly about the problems he has encountered and the challenges, not everyone is able to do it “

The relentless nature of the racing and breeding calendar, combined with the pressures of running a small business, is a perfect storm for stress and pressure – something that is better understood now, Arnold added.

“Until recently, people appreciated the stress and pressure on trainers on an anecdotal level, but not necessarily on a convincing level,” he said.

“In the last couple of years some studies have put this in more concrete terms, the Racing Welfare mental health study looked at the whole industry, but there was also an MBA report on stress. professional for coaches who highlighted a number of issues and the range of different areas that put enormous pressure on trainers.

“Sometimes coaches get a little lost in the general discussion of how mental health issues affect people in the race, but these causes of stress are pervasive and they don’t necessarily have that camaraderie and environment in which it is. support occurs.

“But what Mike’s case shows is that there are people the coaches come into contact with on a daily basis who watch them and are ready to pick up the phone.

“One of our priorities is to be available on a personal one-to-one basis, the technology is great but in these situations you can’t beat talking to people directly. Call NTF, we understand life professional trainers and the situation they are out there talking to people about these pressures all the time.

“Some of us are trained in mental health first aid, even though we are the first port of call we can make sure someone is referred to the right professional support. There is also Racing Welfare, I know they help the coaches and we are working with them on that. “

Read this next:

‘I didn’t want to live’ – coach talks about mental health issues

BHA under fire as investigation into Bryony Frost bullying allegations

“He gave you time with the horses at a time when some people don’t”

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FIRST POSTED AT 4:00 PM, OCT 18, 2021

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