Sheffield United star backs mental health campaign

When the Professional Footballers’ Association surveyed a sample of its members on the effect lockdown had had on their mental health, the results were surprising.

Sunday, 24th May 2020, 10:59 am
Updated Sunday, 24th May 2020, 9:16 pm
Enda Stevens, pictired in action for Sheffield United, backed the campaign: Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Nearly a quarter of those who responded - 22 per cent to be exact - admitted they had suffered feelings of depression or considered self-harm since all football was postponed over 10 weeks ago.

Although the figure dropped to just six per cent of those currently earning a living from the game, it still illustrated the importance of the organisation’s work in this field.

Enda Stevens lent his backing on behalf of Sheffield United to a campaign being promoted by the Mental Health Foundation last week. Outlining the importance of kindness, it sought to inspire people to be generous and understanding of those around them. Although it has now finished, MHF officials hope their message continues to resonate with those it reached.

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“We've chosen kindness because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity,” chief executive Mark Rowlands said. “Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deeps solidarity. It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health.”

PFA’s researchers stated that 69 per cent of those who were questioned had expressed fears about their careers, given the financial impact the coronavirus pandemic has had upon the sport’s finances.

Although the majority of those are likely to be operating outside of the Premier League, Stevens revealed his awareness of the issues facing footballers further down the pyramid by contributing to a fund for semi-professional players made redundant in his native Ireland.

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