An agreement between players and clubs in Norway has raised awareness around mental health and made it easier for players to talk about their mental health challenges.
The accord was signed in 2018 between Norway player union NISO and the club representative body Abelia. It also applies to ice hockey and handball players. “We feel this agreement is a real breakthrough”, said Joachim Walltin NISO president
The accord followed a disturbing increase in the number of calls received by NISO psychologist Dag Sørum from both male and female players. In one high-profile case Torstein Andersen Aase, a 21-year-old player heralded as a future star, quit football because of depression.
“We feel this agreement is a real breakthrough”
SOMEONE TO TURN TO
Under the accord, Norwegian clubs have agreed to designate a person of trust players can turn to if they are anxious or depressed.
NISO and Abelia also agreed to delegate someone in the clubs to be responsible for the career transition of players. NISO and the Norwegian FA finance a careers centre for athletes, advising them on education, offering individual coaching and putting them in contact with employers.