Link – Athlete suicide shines spotlight on mental health education in young people

This story is tragic. An 18 year old potential Olympic athlete takes her own life because no one noticed she might need help with the pressure?

“She had been selected for the British team for the Junior World Championships in New Zealand in August and was tipped to qualify for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

However, she missed a flight to join the GB squad for training and disappeared from the French ski resort of Les Gets shortly afterwards. It later emerged that she took her own life on her 18th birthday.

“Ellie wanted to be the best and not let anybody down,” Ellie’s dad, Tony, said speaking to BBC South East. “Unfortunately it all came about from missing a flight which then meant she didn’t go training with the GB squad.

“She felt she’d let them down, felt she’d let me down and just tragically it just takes one silly little thing like that to tip someone over the edge, because there’s a lot of pressure on children.”

Citing the pressure Ellie was under, and revealing a pre-existing mental health issue, her father added: “Mental health awareness needs to be really looked at and made more public.”

Mr Soutter is absolutely right, but the issue is more fundamental than just awareness. Ellie would have undoubtedly had many hundreds of hours of coaching to prepare herself physically for her career and competitions, so why was her mental health not addressed in the same way? “

Let’s hope that Elle Soutter’s death will provide a lesson for not just the sports world, but all of us.

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