Becoming a nationally recognized football player is a dream come true for thousands of young men all throughout Europe. Fame, glory, wealth, and the chance to play football every day is idolized and idealized by many. Society has damaging misconceptions about being a football player. Those misconceptions can translate into the pressure and stress faced by most professional footballers, which is causing them to struggle with mental health issues. For example, only a few football players make high amounts of money. Most earn regular salaries like average workers. The briefness of a career in football is stressful, with an ever looming threat of ending contracts, no more agents, and not being valued for a trade. Additionally, pressures to fulfill the football star image can be mentally taxing.
Support Within Sport is a new initiative spreading throughout Europe to aid footballers in their mental health and raise awareness about the fragility of mental health in professional football. Quoting Dr. John Maclean of the organization, the Herald Scotland explains that young men in Scotland are taught that their emotional or mental problems are not topics of conversation. Indeed, the male stereotype of being emotionless, strong, and perfect is global and globally damaging. Most often men all over the world are less likely than women to talk about health issues they are facing or ask for help. “Most people would think that footballers would be the last people to struggle with such issues, but when you think about it, it is actually logical that they would be a high-risk group,” Dr. Maclean explains. “Being wealthy is no barrier to having depression or anxiety,” the doctor importantly notes.
Mental health awareness among some of the most high profile individuals in one of the most viewed sports is important for Scotland, the UK and all of Europe. Seeking treatment and support for mental health issues is not a sign of failure or weakness, as a male or as any individual. There simply is no need to continue suffering when you are living with the symptoms of mental health. Prolonged mental health issues can lead to addiction and alcoholism, creating a larger and more drastic problem. Drinking, binge drinking, alcoholism, and drug use, are rampant among fans of football. Mental health issues can sustain in their symptoms for extended periods of time before they worsen. Addiction is a chronic, constantly progressing and often times fatal.
For over 25 years, Castle Craig has proudly served Scotland and all of Europe by providing compassionate care through residential treatment programmes. When patients graduate our programmes, they leave in optimum mental, physical, and spiritual health. Our goal is long-term abstinent recovery. For more information, call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | June 22, 2017