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talkSPORT launches Mental Health Awareness Series

talkSPORT, the world’s biggest sports radio station, has announced a ground-breaking series of programmes that addresses mental health issues in sport.

Called ‘On the Sporting Couch’, the series of 50 minute shows feature elite sportsmen and women who have been brave enough to undertake an on-air therapy session to talk candidly about their struggles.

The programme is hosted by sports broadcaster and Cognacity’s psychotherapist Gary Bloom, and features some extraordinary material.

The first show, airing on Saturday 10 June, features batsman Marcus Trescothick who reveals the anxiety that robbed him of the England captaincy. Also taking to the ‘Couch’ are Darts player James Wade, who gives his experiences of living with bipolar disorder; Rugby Union referee Nigel Owens, who reveals how he came to terms with his sexuality and Keith Gillespie, who gives a frank insight into how he lost seven million pound to a gambling addiction. Rebecca Adlington reveals the physical and mental strains of becoming an Olympic athlete and Rugby player Duncan Bell shares how depression took away his promising career.

Each show tells the incredible individual story of determination of these athletes, who have come to terms with a condition that too often is still taboo in dressing rooms and sports clubs across the country.

Only recently Prince William and Harry launched a high profile movement, lending their support for reversing the stigma of people admitting they had mental health problems.

A professional panel will take part in a discussion looking at mental health awareness and issues in sport, in the last show of the series on Saturday 22 July.

Full program schedule:

Saturday 10 June, 9pm – Marcus Trescothick (ex-England batsman)

Saturday 17 June, 9pm – James Wade (leading Darts professional)

Saturday 24 June, 9pm  – Keith Gillespie (ex-Northern Ireland footballer)

Saturday 1 July, 9pm – Duncan Bell (ex-England Rugby Union, Bath prop)

Saturday 8 July, 9pm – Nigel Owens (International Rugby Union referee)

Saturday 15 July, 9pm – Rebecca Adlington (Olympic Gold Medal Swimmer)

Saturday 22 July, 9pm – Professional panel discussion about mental health issues in sport, hosted by Gary Bloom.

About talkSPORT

talkSPORT is the world’s biggest sports radio station and is global audio partner of the Premier League. The station is an official broadcaster of the Premier League, the 2016 UEFA European Football Championships, the FA Cup, England football internationals and the EFL Cup. talkSPORT’s international arm broadcasts across the world in five different languages – English, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic and now Swahili.

About Gary Bloom

Gary Bloom is a sports broadcaster, psychotherapist and counsellor. He has commentated at World Cups, Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and many similar events in a career spanning more than 25 years.

Gary is also a psychotherapist and counsellor specialising in sports men and women who are suffering from mood disorders – including anxiety, depression and addictive behaviours. He is an articulate and confident broadcaster able to comment on the complex relationship between psychology and sport. He is also a clinician working for the leading sports psychology organisation Cognacity, based in Harley Street, London.