Olympics star Sally battles mental hurdles
OLYMPIC gold medallist Sally Gunnell has spoken for the first time about the mental health issues that affected her family.
The mum-of-three, 51, navigated the dark tunnels of stress and anxiety in a glittering career that brought her world records.
She said: “My whole family on my mother’s side had mental health issues growing up so it is very much in our family.
“There was hardly any knowledge about it and you certainly didn’t talk about it. I was young and knew something was going on but it just wasn’t addressed.”
Sally, who won 16 golds across Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European competitions, went on: “I didn’t realise it until I was at the top of my game with sport, and got an understanding of the mental element of life and how much it affects us every day.
“I now feel aware of it and look at ways of not having that happen to myself or my children.”
The former runner and hurdler, who retired from athletics in 1997, runs schemes for companies to help staff deal with stress.
Marco Comastri, European general manager of computer giant CA Technologies, said: “It’s time we all put this higher on our agendas, for ourselves and the people we work with every day.”