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Mental Health

Mental health issues have reached worrying levels amongst players

Raising awareness of the mental health struggles faced by footballers in today’s game is one of FIFPRO’s most pressing concerns. It is vital that mental health problems can be diagnosed and correctly treated with the same commitment and care as physical injuries. Although not always obvious, mental health issues can manifest in a variety of different ways – from depression and anxiety to trouble sleeping – each of which can have a severe impact on both a players’ professional and personal life.

What you should know

Footballers are particularly vulnerable

It’s unsurprising that high-pressure careers which are subjected to constant public and media scrutiny result in symptoms of poor mental health. A 2015 FIFPRO study revealed that 38 percent of active players have experienced symptoms of depression, with a distinct lack of support perceived in the industry.

Mental Health Pilot Project

FIFPRO launched a Mental health Pilot Project to help player unions develop and implement a process to promote awareness of mental health. FIFPRO is also conducting a long-term observational study of the occurrence of mental health problems among players.

No two experiences are the same

When it comes to mental health, every person and player is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Proactive steps must be taken to educate the industry as a whole on both detecting and compassionately dealing with symptoms of poor mental health.

Mental Health Explainer

Jonas Baer-Hoffmann: Mental health, football and me

FIFPRO General Secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann says some clubs are failing to support players and even purposely putting them under psychological pressure

Jonas Baer Hoffmann Mental Health 2

“FIFPRO has been working on players’ mental health since 2013 – conducting unique scientific studies to developing practical tools.”

— by FIFPRO Chief Medical Officer Dr. Vincent Gouttebarge