Mental Health and Sport

1 Sep

2428713_FULL-LNDFIFA announced this past Friday the launch of a new research area within the organization aimed at mental health research. Called “Mental Health and Sport,” this area will operate “to help lift the taboo on issues surrounding mental health in elite athletes and to build a foundation for the development of treatment and information materials for team physicians, coaches and players.”

Despite some prominent cases, mental health problems are rarely reported in football and other sports. Any scientific data on the mental health of athletes is rare, and almost no scientific study has yet investigated the mental health among football players. To respond to this gap of knowledge, FIFA has established the new research area, so that those in the game feel more comfortable coming forward to talk about issues and in order to ease access to treatment.

Former Frankfurt and German National Team member Birgit Prinz has been appointed as the lead researcher for the area. She is a three-time FIFA World Player of the Year, and, personally, one of the greatest female footballers of all time. Prinz currently works as a sports psychologist for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

The first three projects for the area were announced as well:
– “Ups and downs during and after a professional football career”
– “Risk factors for and prevention of mental health problems”
– “Effects of sport on mental health of recreational athletes”

These projects will focus initially on former female and male players from the Bundesliga. Initial results are expected mid-2015.


2 Responses to “Mental Health and Sport”

  1. hkreizinger September 1, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    As one who has a slew of different mental issues (and I just gained another), I can’t see it working because of the stigma. Which is very sad indeed. It can cut into your sleep, not want to get out of bed or go off the road to never never land. I know because that’s me.
    I like the fact that they’re trying to lift off the shame people think it is.


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