MH 01 2500

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.

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.

Player story

Faraday: "I use my art to talk about mental health"

In Ghana, a country where mental health issues are treated as a taboo subject, Dorcas Fumey Kafui stands out. The footballer, known as Faraday, not only speaks openly about her own struggles with mental health issues but also uses her drama education to teach others about the issue.

Faraday 3

“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