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Mind chief urges caution over Trott
The chief executive of a leading mental health charity has urged caution regarding Jonathan Trott's return to first-class cricket, insisting the Warwickshire batsman will continue to need care and support as he recovers from his stress-related illness.
Trott took to the field for Warwickshire's County Championship match against Nottinghamshire on Sunday for the first time since announcing an "indefinite break" from the game in April.
The right-hander had suffered a recurrence of anxiety issues that also forced him to leave early from England's dreadful winter Ashes series following the first Test in November.
He has yet to bat on his return after acting captain Varun Chopra put Notts in, but sent down five overs of his medium pace and had Phil Jaques caught behind for 77.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health charity Mind, told Press Association Sport: "When someone returns to work after a period of mental ill-health, thought should be given how best to support them through the process.
"People can recover from mental health problems but even if someone becomes unwell again they can still make a full contribution at work with the right support.
"The most important thing is keeping lines of communication open so that the person can be honest about how they are coping and whether they need additional support."
Trott has played for 11 years with Warwickshire and Farmer says the support of the club's players and staff will be essential.
"Colleagues can play a huge role in supporting somebody's return to work, but often people don't know what to say or how best to help," Farmer said.
"Treating the situation in the same way as you would a physical health problem is a good start - they shouldn't be afraid to ask how someone is doing and say how good it is to see them back at work."
Trott is one of a number of high-profile sportsmen to have suffered from mental health problems in recent years.
In cricket, Marcus Trescothick brought his England career to an end in 2008 following a long fight with depression while Sussex all-rounder Michael Yardy left England's World Cup squad in 2011 due to the illness.
Andrew Flintoff and Matthew Hoggard have also previously revealed they struggled with mental health issues during their careers.
According to Mind, one in four people experience a mental health problem each year and Farmer hopes the likes of Trott will encourage more people to seek help.
"We have seen a number of high-profile sports people open up about their mental health problems in recent years, which is really encouraging," Farmer said.
"The more people in the public eye speak out and seek help, the more it encourages others to do the same."