Yardy commendably made the decision to be open and honest about his reason for going home early and is not the first elite sportsman to admit he is struggling with his mental well-being.
Boxer Frank Bruno, rugby union star John Kirwan and Celtic football manager Neil Lennon have all talked very openly about their depression, a tough thing to do considering that sportsmen are conditioned to be both physically and mentally strong.
Marcus Trescothick, an England batsman who left the 2006 Ashes tour to Australia described his reason for leaving at the time to be stress related, though he later wrote a book about his experience of depression.
In 2009 Trescothick spoke to BBC’s Inside Sport, for the first time opening up about how at one point he actually considered physically harming himself to prove that there was something wrong.
“I considered hurting myself just to show people how much pain I was in. If you’ve got a broken leg you’ve got a cast on your leg, people can see you’ve got a problem but when you’ve got mental problems there is nothing evident to people to show you need help.” He said.
Cricket star Yardy decided that he wanted to be honest from the word go about why he was leaving. “I felt that it was the only sensible option for me and I wanted to be honest about the reason behind that decision”. He said.
Professor of sport psychology at Sheffield Hallam University, Ian Maynard, says it is not surprising that sports stars are prone to depression especially when considering the fact that they are not naturally emotional.
“They don’t wear their heart on their sleeve because that can cause problems in competition, so they tend to be more buttoned-up and get a mentally tough exterior.” He said.
In addition to this, many sportsman are required to endure long international tours away from their family and friends, a tough situation for many individuals especially those required to consistently perform at a high level where it is difficult to separate their day job from their social life.
If you believe that either yourself or a loved one are suffering from a mental illness then please visit your GP who will be able to provide you with professional advice and support. For information about how counselling can help depression please visit our fact sheet, or to contact a counsellor in your local area please use the search tool located on the home page.