In speaking about his battle with depression, former Bolton and England under 21 player, Marvin Sordel, has advised that football clubs should have full-time counsellors. From the BBC article (see full article here), he has spoken courageously about his experiences while risking being viewed negatively by his peers and the vast audiences that his profession attracts.
I agree with his sentiments that football clubs and actually all employers, as part of their duty of care, should be able to provide support for their employees. I’m not sure that counsellors would be appropriate as it would break professional ethics for colleagues to be seen by the same therapist though.
However, an individual or a team with psychological training would be valuable to be able to assess the individuals needs to refer them for support. This reinforces the results of the survey from MIND where they found that 50% of employees have suffered with poor mental health.
The BBC article did make me question Mr Sordel though. It made me wonder if he expected this help to be completely laid on for him rather than him taking the lead to seek help himself? I imagine the club provides hugely such as coaching support, accommodation, physical support and food and drink. What is the appropriate level of support to balance the organisation’s and the individuals responsibility?
Once more, this article highlights how so many people find it hard to express what is happening to them when they are suffering with a normal human ailment. Footballers and other sports people have helped lead the way in normalising mental health conditions. I hope this will continually encourage the evolution in the way people accept and view this vital part of us.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this and any comments will be responded to.