Institute of Sports Psychiatry

Mental Health in Competitive Sports

In our society and in our culture, competitive sports comprise an integral part of social life. Sport is also an important political and economic factor, and is therefore heavily shaped by both political and economic influences. Physical stresses and injuries are typically regarded as collateral damage in competitive sports and are now systematically and adequately treated in sports medicine. On the other hand, psychological stresses and disturbances are still given little attention in competitive sports, despite increasing professionalization, commercialization and medicalization. Since there is no scientific discipline for mental health in competitive sports, psychological stresses and disturbances are often recognized late and are inadequately treated. Accordingly, there is a lack of adequate treatment and systematic care for mental health among sports clubs, associations and athletes themselves.


The Institute for Sports Psychiatry seeks to develop sports psychiatry as a medical discipline and to strengthen the education, prevention and treatment of mental disorders in this area. As a partner of athletes, sports clubs and sporting associations, we support intensive cooperation with sports physicians, physiotherapists and sports psychologists, because mental health in competitive sports can only be maintained as an interdisciplinary and integrative concept.


In addition to the Department of Sports Psychiatry of the Scientific Society DGPPN, of which we are founding members, we want to focus our work on the needs of athletes, sports clubs and professional groups that are active in the performance sector. In the care of individual athletes, we consider and respect their mental preparation as well as their mental health. We also seek the experience and knowledge of mentally challenged athletes, and we encourage collaboration with sports physicians, sports psychologists and physiotherapists. Within the framework of consultation with sports clubs and sports federations, we seek to make our contribution to the maintenance of mental health in competitive sports as part of a whole medical care team. We also provide regular training in the field of sports psychiatry for sports psychiatrists, sports physicians, physiotherapists, athlete consultants and athletes themselves.