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'Lack of concern' for cricketer with mental health problems

16th November 2006

Attitudes towards those with mental health problems have once again been drawn into the spotlight, after a British sporting hero has been shown a lack of concern.

Marcus Trescothick has returned home from the Ashes cricket tour in Australia because of his illness.

However, it has been noticed that while the public poured sympathy on Michael Vaughan, who was forced to pull out of the tour because of a knee injury, Trescothick has received nothing like the same level of reaction.

Observing the difference, BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce has openly criticised audience members of one radio show, 606, for suggesting the cricketer was "taking the mick". Fordyce said that such attitudes were insensitive and ill-educated.

Although the public appears to expect nothing less than superheroics from their sporting legends, some personalities – such as cricketer David Frith – have attempted to lift this cloud of ignorance.

"Cricket is by far the major sport for suicides – because it is so monopolistic, because it enfolds you and plays on the mind, filling you with confusion and self-doubt," Mr Frith has said.

Other famous names that have recently spoken out in order to change the public's perception towards those with mental health problems include David Blunkett and Alastair Campbell.