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Mental health is a key dealing with football - Hughes

Mon 15 March 2021 | 19:15

The psychological damage of football has increased in recent years, and coaches intend to avoid the serious dangers of this issue.

Mark Hughes

believes that the many ups and downs of football can cause serious psychological damage to players and coaches.

Football coaches, through the League Managers Association(LMA), plan to launch a program to inform people about the symptoms of people who are close to suicide. The many psychological traumas suffered by players who have been released by academies have been examined in recent years, and Hughes spoke at the 20-minute online session about the importance of recognizing these symptoms.

“It’s difficult in football clubs, there are a lot of emotions and disappointments – more disappointments than successes if we’re honest.

“And being able to recognise when someone is struggling with those disappointments and maybe they’re losing their job and showing signs that they’re struggling to cope with decisions that will impact them, that must help the guys making the decisions as well.

“I think there was an attitude within football (when Hughes played) that if you showed weakness you were told, ‘Just get on with it, pull yourself together’ and be stronger mentally.

“Clearly now we know it’s very difficult to maintain your mental health at a constant level, sometimes it ebbs and flows and you need help.

The LMA has partnered with the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, to support the Shining A Light On Suicide campaign to prevent people who suffer psychological damage from being left out of teams.

“For me as a young player, I came from a small town in north Wales and I know for a fact it would have been very difficult for me to hold my hand up and ask for help that I possibly needed at that time.

“There were occasions when I was anxious about my future, where my career was going to lead, when I was struggling and not playing well. It never got to the point where I felt in danger, but that support wasn’t there. It’s definitely improved, but you can always add to that.”

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