Author Topic: mental health issues are getting a problem when you are an athlete in cyprus  (Read 1289 times)


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The defence ministry on Wednesday signed a cooperation protocol with the Cyprus Sports Federation (Koa) for facilitating athletes carrying out their military service in exchange for it not granting health cards to draft dodgers.

The protocol follows a law recently passed by the House plenum which provides that no sports health cards will be issued to athletes discharged from military service due to mental illnesses.

Minister Savvas Angelides said the law in question was deemed necessary to clamp down on draft dodging among athletes since it was not uncommon for athletes to feign a mental Illness so that they can be exempt from military service when they were called up.

“It was an alarming problem since the situation did not improve not even after military service was reduced to 14 months,” Angelides said.

He explained when the time had come for athletes to sign up with the National Guard, they would go to psychiatrists and have themselves exempted from military service due to mental illnesses.

Men who suffer from mental illness or serious physical conditions are exempt from military service.

The law in question concerns both athletes who were either temporarily discharged after being deemed unfit to serve or who were given postponement of military service due to some form of mental illness.

Koa is obliged to apply the law so that health cards are not issued or renewed for the athletes in question, the minister said.

He added that the defence ministry, in its turn, agreed to facilitate athletes doing their military service to exercise regularly and provide other facilities so that they do not fall behind in their sports performance or advancement.

Angelides gave reassurances that his ministry will actively support athlete-conscripts so that they miss no opportunity as regards their sports career while serving their country.

The minister said that avoiding military service under false pretences should not be considered an act of bravado.

“Service to the country is a duty and is beneficial time spent productively and creatively,” he said.

Athletes who carry out their military service will benefit from a number of regulations, he said, while those who did not enlist or have no intention of doing so, will bear the consequences of their actions.

the discussion to it follows:
Kazim • 6 hours ago
"they would go to psychiatrists and have themselves exempted from military service due to mental illnesses" what i understand from this statement, is that the army accepts the report of ANY licensed psychiatrist for exempting an individual....if this is the case, it is very wrong and open to abuse..There should be a committee of doctors from the general hospital authorized to give such report, requiring the majority of the votes from those doctors...not just one private psychiatrists who can be bribed to give out such a report...This is how medical exemption or discharge from military service is given in the north...

Geoffreys • 6 hours ago • edited
The problem is fraudulent medical certifications, enabling perfectly
fit individuals to dodge the draft. Random checks should be made on the doctors and those found guilty struck off. This is not a matter that should involve the Sports Fed at all.

The Sports Fed should not agree to this, as some Athletes already represent Cyprus or have real potential to Or already compete at a professional level (unless it's part of the coop). It's actually not uncommon for athletes to become depressed and I expect the prospect of having to do military service and how that affects their chances / careers would be very stressful indeed. This is a step back. The net aimed at stopping draft dodgers will also affect real Athletes

It certainly does serve a purpose. If anything, It teaches our youth how to properly operate and utilise military small arms, teaches them important teamwork skills, and gives them the opportunity to be involved with national service.

I'd rather our youth know how to properly defend themselves and their homeland than not.

So to get this straight: If an 18 year old athlete is suffering from depression/schizophrenia/pdst etc and cannot cope with military life, he has either the option of hiding it, remaining in a military that deems him not suitable, or to give up his sport. And this is not discriminatory in any way

f an individual is really suffering from a mental illness to begin with, it's highly doubtful they'd be well enough to even participate in sport, especially with the antidepressants and antipsychotics they'd need to take in order to function. This is simply a method to stop those who are using an obvious loophole to get out of national service.

The obvious solution would be to let signed-up athletes TRAIN all day. That's what they want, and need, and the Army could benefit from encouraging fitness and training as part of their daily regimen. Instead, they take in a fine-tuned athlete at their prime, and by the time their service is up, they've lost their fitness and competitive drive !!!

As last  my  question,  what is now with my  son. mental handy cap and  flying out  this weekend for special Olympics and he was  not in the army.

Sunny Clouds

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This is where the generally untestable nature of mental conditions creates unfairness.

Actually, some conditions can be shown on scans, but how far does any government want to pay for fMRI scans to show brain functioning, especially brain functioning in reaction to various stimuli?

What must be heartbreaking for some soldiers who are discharged due to mental illness, is those that really didn't want to be discharged, some of whom may not even accept that they've got a mental illness.

Having said that, as someone who served for 18 years as a Territorial (reservist) and who also objects to compulsory military service, I have strong views that many would not agree with.

It may interest some to know that when I enlisted, I'd already had a manic depression (bipolar) diagnosis for 8 years.  I know someone who joined the regular army with a manic depression diagnosis.  You could in those days, but only because the British army worked with people's strengths and made allowance for weaknesses. 

At other periods in history, it hasn't, and many armies don't.

So if the Cypriot army makes proper allowance for mental variations, so that someone who  could serve in some capacity can continue to do so if they want to, then I feel less hostile to this situation, except that that doesn't address the issue of those that don't want to be discharged.

As regards those that don't want to serve, I don't think they should have to, but given that they do, I still think that it's wrong to treat mental conditions in this way.

Sorry, my arguments are going round in circles.  This just seems so wrong.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)