Mental health in footballers has long been overlooked
- By: Matthew Billingsley
“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs. . . . you’ll be a Man my son.” Rudyard Kipling’s sentiments have become a mantra to motivate sports professionals over the years.
Success in sport requires confidence, focus, and mental strength. Because mental health problems represent polar opposite connotations, discussion of them is often regarded as taboo.
But is this a healthy attitude? The Professional Footballer’s Association (PFA), the professional footballers’ trade union, says that at any one time, one in six of the adult population is affected by mental health problems, and sports men and women are not immune to this—even if their profession seems to demand that they appear untouched by such problems.
To reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, the PFA has teamed up with various mental health organisations, including Mind and Depression Alliance, to put together a comic booklet to help footballers