British Cycling, criticized in the past for a “culture of fear,” announce on Wednesday a new mental health strategy that includes screening elite riders every six months. The launch coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week in Britain. Nigel Jones, head of medical services for the British cycling team, said in a statement that the strategy would focus “on the development of resilient people through a more psychologically inform environment.

Cycling is the use of bicycles for transport, recreation, exercise or sport. People engage in cycling are refer to as cyclists, bikers, or less commonly, as bicyclists. Apart from two-wheel bicycles, cycling also includes the riding of unicycles, tricycles, quadracycles, recumbent and similar human power vehicles (HPVs).

Impact of challenge

They add there would be a shift “to a proactive approach of educating our coaches and support staff to allow for better understanding, toleration, containment and ultimately decreasing the prevalence and impact of challenging behaviours and mental distress. British Cycling was heavily criticize in a 2017 independent review; which identify failings in governance and leadership following allegations of bullying and sexism.

Cycling is one of Britain’s most successful and heavily fund sports; so enjoying huge success at Olympics and Paralympics. British Cycling now employs two full-time sports psychologists. New athletes joining the programme will undergo a mental health screening and existing programme athletes will be screen on a six-monthly basis, allowing us to identify athletes who are struggling mentally but may not recognise this themselves,” said Jones.

Mental health pathways

A national health strategy is a document that outlines a country’s vision, priorities, budgetary decisions; also course of action for improving and maintaining the health of its people. Such documents provide direction for improving health and are use for planning purposes. Ideally, any activities for strengthening health information systems (HIS) are mention in a country’s national health strategy.

Finally, they will be providing clearly signpost mental health pathways; which enable the athlete to feel comfortable when seeking help; so know the range of options available to them. Team performance director Stephen Park said British Cycling was commit to athlete welfare.

It’s important that we create a culture and environment in which our athletes feel supported; also one which they want to be a part of. Psychology plays an integral part in that,” they said. Our ambition is to top the medal tables once again in Tokyo 2020; also they now have some solid foundations in place to support our athletes in achieving our ambitions.