CPFT clinician: Footballers can inspire men to get help for their mental health

Dr James Clarke says those struggling with depression and anxiety in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough can contact the Psychological Wellbeing Service

CPFT clinician: Footballers can inspire men to get help for their mental health
03 November 2016

A senior clinician at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust has welcomed the Professional Footballers' Association’s calls for more to be done to help players with mental health issues.

Dr James Clarke, who leads the Trust’s Psychological Wellbeing Service, said high-profile organisations such as the PFA seeking further support for members would help to reduce stigma.

Dr Clarke (pictured) added that the service, which helps those with depression and anxiety, is available to those from all walks of life as long as they are registered with a GP in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. In the last year, the free NHS service has helped 12,000 people.

He said: “It is very welcome that the PFA has recognised the issue of mental health within the game, and wants more help for its members. We know that men in particularly have previously found it more difficult to seek help but hopefully footballers speaking out like this shows attitudes are changing.

“It appears from what has been reported that these issues are particularly prevalent among players who are at the end of their careers.

“But changing careers, concerns over the future, money, and our families are just the kind of issues which can affect us all – and can have a big effect on our mental health.

“I am glad footballers are being encouraged to open up about what’s trouble them – it’s something we should all be encouraged to do if we’re struggling.

“Mental health issues can affect one in four people and I would encourage people to contact our Psychological Wellbeing Service, which is free, and get the help and support they need.”

The PFA has compared retired footballers to veteran soldiers because of their struggle to cope with life after the game. The players’ union says in the last 12 months there has been a 25 per cent increase in players seeking help for mental health issues.

Anyone registered with a GP in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area can access the Psychological Wellbeing Service by completing an online form that can be found on the Trust’s website www.cpft.nhs.uk or by clicking here. Alternatively, the service can be contacted by calling 0300 300 0055. The lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays.

Treatments available include personal therapy, guided self-help, group sessions including training in Mindfulness.


For more information please contact:

Andy Burrows
Communications Manager
E andy.burrows@cpft.nhs.uk
T 07893 340795

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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