Mental Health and Football

We all know that men tend to find opening up and talking honestly difficult. Footballers, and all sportsmen, are likely to be even more wary than most, (a mental health problem being likely to be seen as “weakness” in your average football dressing-room).

 

I’m delighted that my favourite charity, Mind, has teamed up with the English Football League, in an attempt at promoting honesty and openness and ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues in sport:¬†https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/campaigns/efl-partnership/

 

Great, too, that my team, Sheffield Wednesday, has such an honest character as Sam Hutchinson in its ranks. He received an award from BBC Radio Sheffield, for a talk he gave on his own mental ill health, and the things and people that have helped him to cope better with his problems: https://www.swfc.co.uk/news/2019/december/hutchinson-receives-radio-award/

 

Sam is loved by the fans at Hillsborough for his wholehearted approach to the game – and to life more generally. Can I call him a “ledge”..? Well, I just have.

Smartphone Usage and Mental Health

A meta-analysis of 41 studies, dating from 2011 to 2019, shows that one-in-four young people display Problematic Smartphone Use (PSU). This ‘problematic’ use includes: neglect of other activities, anxiety when the smartphone is not available, poor sleep, and low mood. Press Association article, quoted in “The Indy”:¬†https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/smart-phone-addiction-children-gen-z-social-media-mental-health-a9225556.html

 

A walk down most British streets might lead you to understand that it is not only children and young people who might be using their smartphones problematically. Most of us seem to be aware, at some level, that both the internet in general and smartphones in particular are extremely addictive. Acknowledgement that their use could be problematic – in others and in ourselves – may be the beginnings of us addressing these problems, on a societal level.