Mental health

ISSF commitment to athlete mental health

The ISSF recognizes that in order for all Athletes to give the very best of themselves in order to achieve greatness, they often find themselves in need of mental health support.

Mental Health Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Managing pressure
  • Feeling burnt out/overwhelmed
  • Harmony between sport and home life
  • Managing life and/or career changes
  • Handling stress
  • Improving communication
  • Dealing with injury
  • Managing anxiety
  • Depression
  • Disordered eating
  • Bullying, harassment and abuse
  • Parenting

The ISSF is committed to helping to create a sport environment that helps support all ISSF Athletes’ well being and mental health.

To this end, we endorse the great work that has already been done by the International Olympic Committee and we offer as a resource to all our Athletes and their support team the IOC Tool Kit on Mental Health.

You can access it here:

IOC Mental Health in Elite Athletes Toolkit

The Toolkit for Mental Health in Elite Athletes has proven to be a valuable resource for many Olympic Movement Stakeholders and we trust that it will also be a great resource for all shooting sport athletes, their parents and their medical support teams and health care professionals.

All athletes, coaches, Member Federations, and members of medical and health care support teams are encouraged to carefully read the Tool Kit. ISSF is confidence that it will prove to be a valuable resource for all of you to benefit the health and mental well-being of all athletes.

As you will see,

IOC Mental Health in Elite Athletes Toolkit

the Tool Kit is divided into four main sections:

  1. Section 1 - Introduction:
    It outlines the objective and scope of the toolkit, to whom it applies and how it was developed. It also details the frameworks that provide the foundation and directives for Olympic Movement stakeholders to address this important topic.

  2. Section 2 – Mental Health Symptoms and Disorders in Elite Athletes
    It provides an overview of the multifaceted aspects of mental health symptoms and disorders in elite athletes, including terminology, prevalence and an overview of the IOC Mental Health Consensus Statement (2019).

  3. Section 3 - Roles and Responsibilities
    Outlines the roles and responsibilities of three key stakeholder groups related to the creation of a psychologically supportive athletic environment. These stakeholder groups are sports organisations, athletes’ entourage members and health care professionals.

  4. Section 4 – Resources
    It highlights many available resources and links to where to find further information.

The IOC Mental Health Action Plan

You can access it here Mental-Health-Action-Plan-2023 (

In July 2023, the IOC communicated that it had developed a new Mental Health Action Plan that takes a wider approach to supporting the protection and promotion of athlete mental well-being.

The IOC Mental Health Action plan looks to inspire, encouraging and assist stakeholders like the ISSF build a healthier world in and through sport.

Key targets for 2026

Guided by the principles of human rights, equity, evidence-based practice and working collaboratively, the Mental Health Action Plan is a comprehensive strategy that will serve as a roadmap for the IOC to promote mental well-being across its four spheres of responsibility – the IOC as an organisation, the IOC as the owner of the Olympic Games, the IOC as the leader of the Olympic Movement, and Olympism in society.

Across the four spheres, there are five thematic focus areas, with corresponding key objectives and actions, to be achieved by the end of 2026:

  1. Culture and leadership
    Demonstrating leadership in the field by championing a policy environment that recognises the importance of mental health and well-being.
  2. Measurement and research
    Contributing towards more thorough and reliable mental health epidemiology in elite athletes and under-researched groups, with attention to cross-cultural differences – recognising that evidence-based approaches are critical for impactful initiatives.
  3. Reduce prevalence and improve well-being
    Encompassing the continued development of expert-led tailored tools and initiatives to improve mental health literacy, reduce stigma, build mental resilience and reduce sport-specific stressors that impact mental health and well-being.
  4. Improve care
    Encouraging the fostering of psychologically safe athletic environments which reduce the barriers to help seeking, including through supporting early recognition of when further support may be needed, and establishing pathways to care.
  5. Improve access to sport
    Promoting and supporting the mental health benefits that people and communities experience through accessing sport and Olympism in Society, especially in resource-limited settings, contributing to Olympism365.

 The ISSF will of course follow the IOC’s guidance in this regard and ensure that before 2026 all of the required ISSF benchmarks in relation to the mental health action plan will be satisfied.


ISSF Partners