Man Utd boss heralds new mental health movement and reveals how United stars are supported

Marc Skinner has heralded the importance of having conversations in sport around mental health. Cr. Getty ImahesMarc Skinner has heralded the importance of having conversations in sport around mental health. Cr. Getty Imahes
Marc Skinner has heralded the importance of having conversations in sport around mental health. Cr. Getty Imahes
Manchester United boss Marc Skinner revealed how his players are supported as player-led mental health movement Create The Space is launched.

Manchester United boss Marc Skinner has heralded the importance of 'having conversations' about mental health in sport as a new player-led mental health movement is launched.

A new initiative called 'Create The Space' was launched earlier this week and is spearheaded by the likes of Arsenal duo Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead as mental health becomes an increasingly important topic within elite sport.

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Supported by Common Goal, Dutch superstar Miedema revealed she suffered from panic attacks earlier in her career and the United boss praised the new movement as he revealed how his own players are supported.

"It's a pressure environment. What I'd say is it's not just players - it's everyone within your team," said the 40-year-old boss.

"I love the fact that we're having conversations. Even you asking that question is us having a conversation around it. I'm sure yourself, you've felt reasons and aspects we're you have to dig deep, right? You have to find support and have conversations. So I don't think it is just about players within sport - its about humans in sport and every walk of life.

"I'm a big believer in humans and that football is just part and parcel of what they do. Practically, we do that by having a cultural design here. We have different people are players can go to that have a different type of character. Not everyone wants to talk to me about stuff like that - because unfortunately some people still see it as a weakness to tell the head coach that maybe they are struggling with something.

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"It's important we, as a club, have that resource available. Of course, we have physiological support, whether it needs to be put to some specialist or actually within the sporting arena" he explained.

A number of professional footballers opened up on their own battles with mental health, including Chelsea and England left back Ben Chilwell who revealed he had his own difficulties.

"We need to move from talking about mental health to taking action, and Create the Space provides the platform for everyone wishing to take action to play a role in tackling mental health issues, whether they are playing in the Premier league, in the playground, or in the park" said Chilwell.

Other top international players, such as Portugal midfielder Sergio Oliveira and Real Sociedad's Spanish goalkeeper Alex Remiro have also given their support to Create the Space.

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And it something that Skinner thinks is of paramount importance within the sport and admits learning and talking to others about it can only help.

"I'm a big believer in it. I'm a big believe in psychology in the game. It's a huge thing in the game. I can't wait to learn more about the brain, more about as we progress and have more conversations about the degrees.

"The final thing I will say I that I think we are all on a spectrum rather than it being black or white and I think that we all live within these realms and people have these challenges. You don't always know the triggers, right? Sometimes something happens in your life and it triggers that.

"But I think having that support available and knowing you can talk about it is the first step to being able to live with it and knowing it's part of you as a person" he added.

You can find out more about Common Goal’s Create the Space here.

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