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Man City youngsters learn value of mental wellbeing

29 Jul 2020

The importance of maintaining good mental and physical health is key as Premier League joins landmark "Mentally Healthy Football" declaration

The Premier League's signing of the "Mentally Healthy Football" declaration, launched jointly with the United Kingdom's football family earlier this week, is a commitment to making mental health a key priority at all levels of the game.

From local communities through to players at the very top of their profession, the Premier League and its clubs are offering support.

A key aspect of this is encouraging players to recognise that staying mentally well is of equal importance to their physical fitness.

Wellbeing screenings

Manchester City offer wellbeing screenings every 12 weeks for their male and female Academy players.

These sessions give the players an opportunity to pinpoint and discuss areas in which they may feel under pressure.

"Don't be embarrassed about it," says Man City Elite Development Squad goalkeeper Louie Moulden, who shared his feelings during Heads Up in February, a campaign which used the power of football to raise awareness around mental health.

"Everyone has problems and everyone's problems affect them in different ways."

Good to talk

For Beth Smyth, the prospect of being available but not being selected has impacted on her personal wellbeing.

"I've gone through periods when I haven't been starting," she explains. "It's been quite hard, especially at the start, but my coach has been really helpful in terms of I can speak to her." 

And for 18-year-old Lewis Fiorini, opening up about his fears of getting injured has proved helpful.

"I think that is probably the biggest thing," says Fiorini. "The one thing you're here to do is taken away from you for a long period of time."

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