Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind said:
“One in four people will experience a mental health problem so it should come as no surprise that professional sportspeople will face these issues too. Footballers, in particular, experience a unique set of mental health pressures in their jobs from scoring goals and winning trophies, to facing media scrutiny, physical injury and meeting the high expectations of fans.
“It is therefore vital that footballers receive support from the sports sector to tackle the broader stigma around mental health in sport. Mind is working closely with key organisations in football like the EFL and the Professional Footballers Association to embed long-term change in how the sector supports the mental health of players.
“Many people from the world of sport have already made a difference by speaking out. Mind research found that over a quarter (28 per cent) of people who know someone with a mental health problem said they had started a conversation with a loved one about their mental health as a direct result of reading or hearing about a celebrity’s experiences. A quarter (25 per cent) also said hearing a celebrity talk openly about their own mental health had directly inspired them to seek help for themselves and half (52 per cent) said it has helped them to feel like they weren’t alone.
“If you think a friend or a loved one is experiencing a mental health problem, listen to them and encourage them to seek help. Seeking help is one of the most important things to do if you feel like you’re experiencing depression. Speak to a friend or family member or go to your GP, who can talk you through the support that’s available.
“Speaking to your GP might seem daunting, and an extra thing that you have to worry about, but it’s the first step to getting the help and support that’s right for you.
"Mind has produced a guide on how to speak to your GP about mental health. Visit www.mind.org.uk/findthewords or call the Mind Infoline on 0300 123 3393 for more information.”