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GPA strengthens mental health support for players with SilverCloud partnership

GPA strengthens mental health support for players with SilverCloud partnership

Dublin, 8th October 2021: To mark World Mental Health Day (Sunday, October 10th), the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) is proud to announce details of a new partnership with SilverCloud Health, the leading provider of evidence-based online mental health and behavioural healthcare to further strengthen the mental health resources and support available to our 4,000 members.

With over 18 years of academic and clinical research, SilverCloud provides an easy to use and scalable, digital platform with a variety of wellness programmes that all GPA members can access.  It is designed to help improve and maintain wellbeing by addressing underlying issues that can have negative impact.

There has been an increase in the number of people experiencing depression as a result of the pandemic. One in five adults (19.2%) were likely to be experiencing some form of depression during the coronavirus pandemic in June 2020 – doubled from around 1 in 10 (9.7%) before the pandemic (July 2019 to March 2020). An October 2020 poll of people living in Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic showed that over 1 in 3 have struggled with mental health since it began with 83% saying “being connected to other people”  has become increasingly important, something which out of necessity was difficult and was compounded by having to work from home. A 2020 Eurofound report showed that up to 47% of the Irish workforce now worked from home and the swift change brought about significant disruption to work–life balance.

The GPA actively promotes and raises awareness around these issues to its members and has seen an upward trend in annual referrals to their confidential counselling support service since 2018.

Tom Parsons GPA CEO commented on the new partnership; “We want to see our members get the best out of themselves both on and off the pitch and looking after their mental health is as important as looking after their physical health in that respect.  The addition of the SilverCloud platform to the tools the GPA provides for players is to be welcomed and I would encourage all our members to avail of the service.  We train regularly to keep up our physical health; it’s only sensible that we do the same for our mental health and this allows players to do that in their own time”.

Ken Cahill, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder: ‘‘SilverCloud is extremely proud to partner with the Gaelic Players Association – athletes understand that great performance isn’t just about your physical health, but your mental health too. These members and players are true role models across wider society and are proud to destigmatize taking action towards the right care, training and recovery for your mental health.”

GPA members who sign up to the SilverCloud platform can access programmes on a wide variety of topics such as stress, money worries, alcohol, body image and more.  These can be accessed on whatever device best suits the individual player’s needs and at a time most convenient to them.  The programmes can be completed in the player’s own time thus making it as flexible as possible to our members who are juggling their playing commitments with work, study, relationships and life in general.

The GPA have made the mental health of its membership one of its key priorities since its inception. The addition of the digital SilverCloud platform bolsters the support available to players which include a 24/7/365 confidential counselling line (ROI 1800 989 285 / NI 0800 044 5059) and a 24/7/365 text support service (Text GPA to 50808 (ROI) or 85258 (NI)).

The GPA podcast, The Players’ Voice, spoke to both SilverCloud’s Dr. Derek Richards and Tyrone’s All-Ireland winning footballer Conor Meyler about the importance of maintaining your mental health in its latest episode which can be found here:

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3BmdAUO

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3lfbW1M

Soundcloud: https://bit.ly/3BmoVEj

The self-sign up url for GPA members to access SilverCloud is: https://gpa.silvercloudhealth.com/signup/

Create an account and enter the access code ‘GPA’ to get access to the platform.

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