Mental Health

New study reveals one in four professional footballers suffer from depression

FIFPro have released their latest findings after surveying over 180 active professional players.

NEW RESEARCH SHOWS that one in four professional footballers suffers from some form of depression or anxiety.

The study, conducted by Dr Vincent Gouttebarge who is the chief medical officer at World Footballers’ Association FIFPro, saw 180 currently active players participate.

26% said they suffered from depression or anxiety, 19% revealed they had adverse alcohol behaviour while 7% admitted to being smokers.

121 former footballers were also surveyed and among them the figure for depression rises to 39%.

“Contrary to popular belief, the life of a professional footballer has some dark sides,” said Dr. Gouttebarge.

“FIFPro’s study, the first of its kind on a global scale, becomes the basis for the international football community to develop and implement optimal strategies to protect and promote the sustainable health of professional footballers.”

Former professional footballers report more mental health problems than current players, endorsing that the period just after retirement from professional football is a critical one for many players.

“We found mental illness among former professional footballers occurs more often than in other measured populations.”

Read more about the FIFPro study here

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