“It may be that someone’s appetite has changed, they can have reduced appetite or increased appetite, so whether someone’s eating more or less than normal, if an athlete’s worried about their weight or body shape, or if they’re finding it hard to make food choices.
“A big sign for me would be adding an extra training session on top of what’s scheduled. If someone was adding extra sessions that could be a warning sign.”
While restrictions have impacted people across the world, Jeacocke said athletes are at higher risk with less structure in their lives.
“If someone knows what they need to fuel their body for the training and competition and you take that training and competition away, or you change the type of training that they’re doing, there can be uncertainty,” she said.
“If an athlete’s not sure what they need to eat for what they’re currently doing, that’s where we’re really encouraging them to reach out.
“What we certainly don’t want is athletes restricting or not fuelling their body for what they’re doing.”
Watson said it was important athletes maintained a self-awareness around their physical and mental health.
“It’s important to have the awareness and education around coming back into reality and how we shouldn’t put too much pressure on ourselves to think things will just be the way they were before we left,” she said.
“A normal training week before COVID I was eating at set times, before training, after training. Now that we can train at any time, things have been a little bit out of routine and that’s the main challenge – making sure I’m still eating enough or not too much.
“We all know how great physical activity itself is for mental health and as an athlete in a team sport, I crave that camaraderie with my teammates, so it’s finding different ways we can still have that.”
Watson said athletes should look to reach out to those close to them if they were struggling. A loss of income also has the potential to impact heavily on mental health.
“Physically it’s challenging but mentally it’s probably even tougher,” she said.
“Find a routine, that’s really helped me, and call your teammates and check in with them, and your coaches, all those positive people in your life that know your goals and want to help you achieve them.”
The resources will be available through the AIS website and national sporting organisations on Monday.
Damien Ractliffe is the Chief Racing Reporter for The Age.