India must create wellness programmes designed for its athletes to take care of their mental health amidst the pressures of performing and winning, Beijing Olympics gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra said at a lecture organised by the LiveLoveLaugh charitable trust on Friday.
The singular focus to achieve a goal can make individuals ignore every other aspect of their lives, Bindra pointed out as he urged the authorities to prioritise mental health.
“The sports industry has ended up prioritising medals over all else. The pressure to focus on the outcome can drive athletes towards developing a one-track mind, ignoring every aspect of their life other than sport, performance and winning,” Bindra said.
“We must take better care of our sportspeople and create mental wellness programs designed for athletes. Excellence has to be holistic,“ he said.
Bindra also urged those struggling to seek help and avoid suffering in silence. “Prioritise your well-being – physical, emotional, and mental – to give yourself the best chance of realising your true potential. Reaching out for support is a sign of great courage and strength. I encourage anybody who is not feeling their best to go out and seek help,” he said.
The LiveLoveLaugh trust, which aims to aid those experiencing stress, anxiety and depression, was founded by actress Deepika Padukone in 2015.