Charity, Rethink Mental Illness has gained a new celebrity ambassador in Tasha Danvers, the 400m Hurdles Bronze medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Danvers announced her retirement from athletics last week after leading a successful career that was unfortunately plagued by a series of injuries. The dissolution of her dreams of competing at London 2012, alongside her divorce and separation from her son, contributed towards her developing severe depression. This culminated in a suicide attempt last year from an overdose of sleeping pills.
Having recovered, Danvers has spoken openly about her struggle, and joined Rethink. The charity offers support and advice for those affected by mental illness.
Paul Jenkins, CEO of the charity, expressed how important Tasha Danvers’ support was:
“We are absolutely delighted that Tasha is becoming an ambassador for Rethink Mental Illness… for a world-class athlete like Tasha to talk openly about depression, sends out a clear message that anyone, no matter how successful, can be affected by mental health problems.”
Tasha had reservations about sharing her struggle publicly. However, her brave actions will go a long way towards helping remove the taboo that still surrounds talking about mental illness. She said:
“I was nervous talking about my mental health. I worried people would think I was mad… but the response made me realise I did the right thing.”
Rethink Mental Illness will launch a campaign on sport and mental health next month in time for the Olympics.
For more information about Rethink Mental Illness and the work they do, please visit: www.rethink.org
Written by Katy McIntosh
Tasha Danvers, http://www.tashadanvers.co.uk/